There’s speculation that Peyton Manning may be retiring, going out on top with a Super Bowl victory. Well it’s not exactly a storybook ending with this new lawsuit and other information coming out. Manning is among the athletes cited in a lawsuit filed by a group of women alleging that the University of Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a “hostile sexual environment” through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes.
The federal suit filed Tuesday in Nashville states Tennessee’s policies made students more vulnerable to sexual assault and had a “clearly unreasonable response” after incidents that caused the women making complaints to endure additional harassment. The suit also states the university interfered with the disciplinary process to favor male athletes.
The Tennessee lawsuit alleges that in 1996, when Manning was the Volunteers’ quarterback, he placed his naked genitals on the face of a female athletic trainer while she was examining him for an injury. Manning has denied that he assaulted the trainer, saying instead that he was “mooning” a teammate. Manning was never the subject of a police investigation in the incident.
The trainer, Dr. Jamie Naughright, later sued Manning. In documents filed on her behalf in the case, the player whom Manning says he was “mooning,” Malcolm Saxon, refuted Manning’s account. Naughright’s lawsuit against Manning was settled in 1997 with the agreement that she leave the university.
There have been several sexual assault complaints made against Tennessee student-athletes over the past four years. Bill Ramsey, a lawyer representing the school, said in a statement the university “acted lawfully and in good faith” in the situations outlined in the complaint.