OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Seven women, four of them current or former University of Nebraska students, have sued the NCAA for negligence, fraud and breach of contract among others, saying the organization didn’t protect them from sexual assaults made by college athletes.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said the NCAA “acted carelessly and negligently as the regulatory bodies for college and university athletic teams” and said UNL had “fostered a culture in which female victims are discouraged from reporting sexual assaults, sexual harassment, stalking, and other forms of gender discrimination when those acts are perpetrated by male student-athletes.”
“These women want to initiate some change and get better protection for female athletes, male athletes as well and students in general,” said Karen Truszkowski, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs.
The only former NU student-athlete that’s a plaintiff in the suit is volleyball player Capri Davis, who took a medical leave of absence last fall and has since transferred to the University of Texas. In the suit Davis said the university failed to respond to her report that two football players inappropriately touched her at an April 2019 party. The report indicates these two men are Andre Hunt and Katerian LeGrone, two former University of Nebraska football players who are charged with first-degree sexual assault relating to an August 2019 rape.
According to the claim, "around September 2019, Davis became overcome with depression and anxiety, her grades began to slip because she was not able to go to class, she became less social and more withdrawn and she stopped socializing to the extent that she had previously and stopped being open with people."
“They treated her differently than they would’ve treated a male athlete and they made it difficult for her to go to school and be around her peers,” Truszkowski said.
In another example the suit details a false pregnancy rumor that went around this past fall between Davis and a Nebraska football player. Davis said "the burden to address the pregnancy rumors was placed solely on her shoulders and university suggested she make a post on social media about it," which she did via Twitter on November 4. However, after the tweet was sent the suit said "the university never initiated an investigation into the sexual harassment she experienced as a result of the rumors, interviewed her about the sexual harassment or offered her accommodations, interim measures, or support."
“They expected her to handle something they needed to help her with and they didn’t do it,” Truszkowski said.
The claim also discusses inaction taken by the University of Nebraska in regards to sexual assaults on three other students by Nebraska student-athletes. Some of these incidents include claims of sexual assault of a female by two football players in August 2018, a sexual assault of another female by two student-athletes in August 2015 and the verbal and physical intimidation of one of the plaintiffs by the girlfriend of one of the accused football players.
“There probably is a difference between how male athletes are treated and women athletes are treated,” Truszkowski said. “I think there are issues at the University of Nebraska where they have male athletes who commit crimes and nothing happens to them.”
In a statement provided to 3 News Now, a spokesperson from the University of Nebraska said they received a copy of the lawsuit against the NCAA but cannot comment on pending litigation.
This claim is not related to criminal charges and is purely a civil law suit.
Watch reporter Phil Bergman's story in the above video. A copy of the lawsuit can be read below.