Penn State FB Accused Of Hazing With References To Jerry Sandusky

Tanya Simon
January 15, 2020

Penn State football coach James Franklin retaliated against former player Isaiah Humphries after he reported violent hazing by other members of the team, Humphries contends in federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

In the lawsuit Tuesday, Humphries accuses his former teammates of invoking the name of Penn State's disgraced former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky while hazing him.

Isaiah Humphries, who left the program, names Franklin in the lawsuit, along with ex-teammates Damion Barber, Micah Parsons, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Jesse Luketa.

Humphries claims the hazing was "overtly sexual" and also says Luketa threatened to kill him for his complaints about it.

Humphries transferred out of the program in November 2018 and landed at Cal.

Humphries said he and his father, Leonard Humphries, a former Penn State football player who went on to play in the NFL, complained about the alleged hazing, but were ignored.

Last August, Franklin was named in a separate lawsuit, which alleged he tried to interfere with decisions about injured players and when they could return to the field. Lynch, who was removed from those posts in March, is seeking $50,000 in damages because, he claims, the school violated his rights as a whistleblower.

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The hazing occurred in several areas on campus, including the Lasch Building, and was observed repeatedly by coaches who didn't intervene, the suit states. "This is Jerry." Considering Penn State's history, these references are quite shocking and troubling.

Humphries claims that both he and his father - a former Penn State standout and National Football League player - reported the alleged hazing to Franklin and other members of the coaching staff, but "no substantive action was taken" by Franklin or the other coaches, nor did Franklin or any other coaches report the allegations to "appropriate individuals or offices" at the university. He claims he and other Penn State players were wrestled to the ground by the elder players, who then did things like shoving their genitals in the victims' faces and between their buttocks.

Penn State also attempted to remove Humphries from the program "with the excuse of a medical retirement option" as a form of retaliation, according to the lawsuit.

Humphries' attorney is Steven Marino.

Penn State has issued a statement in response to a federal lawsuit filed by a former football player on Monday.

"The University has established processes in place for responding to claims of potential misconduct", the school said in a statement.

The investigations were carried out independent from Intercollegiate Athletics, Powers said. "In addition, Penn State police investigated related allegations and forwarded the results of that investigation to the Office of the Centre County District Attorney". Such efforts included his athletic performance being "overly and unfairly scrutinized", him being denied "necessary medical accommodations" for anxiety and narcolepsy, and the staff giving negative reviews to prospective colleges recruiting Humphries once he decided a transfer.

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