Former U.Va wide receiver sues school over 'culture of abuse'

Former U.Va wide receiver sues school over 'culture of abuse'

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - A former University of Virginia football player is suing the college for promoting a "culture of bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination," according to NBC Sports.

Aidan Howard, a former wide receiver, claims in the lawsuit that some players forced their teammates to imitate and mimic sexual acts or wrestle while naked. He says coaches were aware of this but did nothing about it, even though it resulted in injuries.

Doni Dowling and David Eldridge, wide receivers for Virginia, and their coach Marques Hagans are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Virginia's head coach Bronco Mendenhall was not named in the lawsuit.

The university released a statement saying:

The University of Virginia places a high priority on the safety and well-being of every member of its community.

Specifically as it relates to Mr. Howard’s legal filing, UVA is conducting a thorough investigation that involves several steps in the fact-finding process.

Upon receiving a report from the UVA Athletics Department on August 16 concerning the hazing allegations, the University reported the matter to the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County Commonwealth’s  Attorneys in accordance with Virginia state law. The University Police Department, the Office of the Dean of Students and UVA’s Title IX office began concurrent investigations consistent with University policies and procedures.

Mr. Howard and his counsel participated in interviews with the University Police Department in August and also have been interviewed by members of the University’s Dean of Students and Title IX offices. Other staff and students have been interviewed in connection with this matter, as well.  This investigative review is on-going.

Alleged violations of University policy are investigated to determine appropriate disciplinary and remedial measures, including legal recourse. UVA takes prompt action to provide support services to affected students, review conduct and impose discipline for violations of UVA policy and athletic codes of conduct.

The University’s responses to this particular case are consistent with its approach to ensuring the well-being of our students that include a hazing hotline and its long-standing “Just Report It” online resource.

For more information on the University Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence implemented in July of last year, click here.?

Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved