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University of Tennessee sued by female students, school promotes and protects culture of sexual abuse by athletes

Posted On: February 11, 2016 | By Tamara N. Holder

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According to The Tennesseean:

“Six women filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday claiming the University of Tennessee has created a student culture that enables sexual assaults by student-athletes, especially football players, and then uses an unusual, legalistic adjudication process that is biased against victims who step forward. The lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs identified only as “Jane Does,” accuses five Tennessee athletes of sexual assault. They are former basketball player Yemi Makanjuola, former football players A.J. Johnson, Michael Williams and Riyahd Jones and a current football player named as a “John Doe.” The plaintiffs say that UT violated the Title IX laws, which protect students from gender discrimination in federally funded education programs. UT created a hostile sexual environment for female students by showing “deliberate indifference and a clearly unreasonable response after a sexual assault that causes a student to endure additional harassment,” according to the lawsuit.”

According to SI.com, the lawsuit also states:

“Tennessee football players assaulted wide receiver Drae Bowles in retaliation for helping a woman who said she was raped by then–Volunteers A.J. Johnson and Mike Williams. Bowles took the woman to the hospital on the night of an alleged rape in November 2014 and supported her in reporting the incident to authorities. The accuser, herself a student athlete, says she was meeting with school officials when she received a text message that Bowles had been attacked by his teammates. She says she then notified the administrators she was meeting with, and they said they would look into the matter. Bowles was then attacked a second time, and the woman again notified university administrators.”


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