In Knoxville, it’s on to the next settlement.

The school settles with the eight women who filed suit about sexual assaults involving student-athletes for a tidy $2.48 million, getting a few things in return:  one, no admission on its part of guilt, negligence or unlawful acts; two, nobody in the administration from Booch on up has to face being questioned under oath and three, the plaintiffs agreed to withdraw two complaints they filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights last year.  Such a deal.

Hell, you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind, can you?

The kicker is this:

It is the third financial settlement involving the athletics department under the leadership of Dave Hart in two years.

I bet they’re getting real good with all this settlement experience.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  I missed this on first reading, but it’s worth a special mention.

The settlement acknowledges that UT has agreed to stop giving out a list of Knoxville attorneys to athletes accused of misconduct. The university now refers student-athletes seeking attorneys to the local bar association.

Huntley Johnson strenuously objects.

30 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, See You In Court

30 responses to “In Knoxville, it’s on to the next settlement.

  1. Sam Johnson

    This seems cheap since the plaintiffs had cleared procedural hurdles and were set for full discovery. $2.8 mm for eight victims of sexual assault and attorney fees just sounds like a pittance given the revenues of Tennessee athletics, the severity of the alleged injuries, and the continuing negative publicity. I’m also wondering who appoints the members of the reported independent commission. If they hire Pepper Hamilton (the firm that investigated Baylor), it would at least show they are serious. I’m betting it will be a Tennessee firm with lots of UT grads.

    • What Fresh Hell is This?

      Cheap indeed. And the athletic department only has to pony up 1.4mm. Pretty sure they spent more than that on shower technique and hygiene a couple yrs ago.

      • DavetheDawg

        Don’t forget they’re still paying for SOD’s golden parachute through the end of the year. #moneywellspent

      • Bulldog Joe

        $2.48M minus legal fees divided between eight plaintiffs?

        Peanuts.

        • Yup, disgusting. The predators essentially go unpunished. That’s the reason why the guilty continue to do the same stuff.

          • Bulldog Joe

            Anyone want to bet how much of this settlement goes to UT’s lawyers for a job well done? And how much of it bounces back to the university and athletic department in the form of contributions for season tickets and other considerations?

            I doubt the plaintiffs will see much of this at all.

    • The other Doug

      The victims might not want to testify.

    • Art Briles

      $350K per person before taxes and legal fees?

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    It’s worth pointing out (at least it is to me) that when this suit was filed the feds were pushing colleges to make sexual assault charges much easier for plaintiffs. They were pushing to eliminate a lot of due process items and lower the burden of proof, etc.

    Since then, the tide seems to have receded on the feds’ ideas and things aren’t as easy for plaintiffs anymore. I suspect that the number of successful lawsuits against colleges, by innocent accused people, has had something to do with it. The ‘one in five women are assaulted’ canard has been debunked. 2.8 million doesn’t sound like a very large amount. Perhaps the plaintiffs and attorneys saw the sea change in the law.

    To repeat a thought that several folks around here have expressed: colleges have no business adjudicating sexual charges in the first place. This lawsuit is an outgrowth of a college procedure decision against the plaintiffs. It looks bad because there were football players involved, but they’re entitled to the same US Constitution as everybody else.

    (of course since it was at UT the fix was in)😉

    • Derek

      I don’t like the idea of a campus having to turn a blnd eye to criminals on their campus whether it’s rape, murder, assault etc… The idea that those are purely law enforcement issues not to be addressed by the schools at all is short sighted.

      On the other hand, it does not seem that schools are not equipped to fairly determine fault in these issues. Bias towards athletes is only one of many concerns.

      In the end I don’t think the answer is either abandoning the issue or status quo, but trying to work towards a system that promotes safety and fairness.

      A system requiring temporary separation pending legal resolution (in certain delineated serious offenses) and an insistence upon no interference on behalf of the school would probably be better than litigating on campus matters that aren’t worthy of actual charges might be a reasonable framework.

      • Sadly outside of the Titans in Nashville, UT football is the biggest game in the state and arguably bigger. The Knoxville cops and probably most of state law enforcement agencies realize where their bread is buttered.

        I’m not sure any state agencies are willing to take a stand. I remember how incompetent the campus cops were at my college and can’t imagine them doing a real investigation. I don’t buy into the “rape culture” in colleges now but if many of these cases are entitled football players I’d say that after you see enough smoke there’s probably a fire.

        I don’t have a daughter but I’d really have to look myself in the mirror if I swept a lot of this shit under the rug.

        • Normaltown Mike

          you’d also have to explain to your wife why you swept shit under her Persian rug.

        • Derek

          It’s probably unrealistic to always expect cops/prosecutors/judges not to operate on their biases, whatever they might be, but we (the NCAA) can certainly punish interference from the schools into law enforcement investigations regarding student-athlete misconduct.

          It seems to me that the schools should protect both the safety of the students and the rights of the accused in a way that is fair and impartial. Turning the entire matter over to the legal system, flaws and all, is likely the best we can do.

          That being said I don’t have a problem with universities policing conduct to some degree despite the due process concerns that come with it so long as they aren’t permanently kicking kids out of school for first time offenses.

          There are always reasonable solutions. Reasonable people? That’s a little harder to find. Even harder is finding politicians who aren’t willing to exploit and manipulate unreasonable people for their own gain.

  3. Bulldog Joe

    Florida State prepared Dave Hart well.

    All juniors return for their senior seasons. Everyone stays eligible.

    This is what #winning looks like.

    • Joe, what does juniors returning for their senior seasons have to do with #winning? If you aren’t going to be taken by the 3rd round, it doesn’t make sense to leave early.

      It was the right thing for Stafford, AJ, Knowshon, TG3II, Jarvis Jones, Reshad Jones, Floyd, Ogletree, etc. to leave early. These guys need to go to the League when the money is there.

      On the topic at hand, these women weren’t forced to accept a $2.8m settlement. They could have taken their chances in court in Tennessee … do you really think a jury of hillbillies was going to hang UT out to dry with a big award? Does something appear to smell in Knoxville? Yes, but until the Knox County DA wants to wade into it, nothing is going to change.

      • Bulldog Joe

        I will give you Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who was a projected 5th-round pick and can improve his draft standing by gaining weight and having a solid 2016 season starting at linebacker.

        However, Cam Sutton was already a projected 2nd to 3rd-round pick and Alvin Kamara, a likely 5th-round 2016 pick at RB, decided to return this season at second-string behind Jalen Hurd. With the limited shelf-life of NFL RBs, this appears to be an odd choice.

        The latter two were surprises, in my opinion.

        • I don’t follow Tennessee’s roster that closely. I would have taken Keith Marshall over Kamara any day of the week. Sutton is a surprise, but maybe he thinks he can get to the 1st round with a good season.

  4. Russ

    Such bullshit.

  5. Soccer Dawg

    It does seem cheap to me. But, TN still faces an independent investigation and the victims can hope that a Pepper Hamilton like inquiry gets the real goods on Booch. The Tennessean (7/5, 378K) reports that the University of Tennessee-Knoxville has settled a Title IX lawsuit “about sexual assaults involving student-athletes, ending a dispute that pitted eight young women against the $126 million football program.” The $2.8 million settlement includes an agreement that the university appoint “a special independent commission to review the response to sexual assaults at all universities within the UT system,” but the school did not admit to wrongdoing. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs agreed to withdraw their complaints filed with ED’s Office for Civil Rights, though “it’s unknown whether that will end the ongoing probe of possible violations of federal Title IX rules that govern how colleges and universities must respond to sexual assaults.” An ED spokesperson said that withdrawing a complaint does not automatically lead to an end to an investigation.

    • Macallanlover

      I agree, the women taking the cash should not preclude the Title IV investigation from proceeding at all. The settlement may have bought off the prior issues but the government attack dogs haven’t gotten their pound of flesh yet. The payoff doesn’t change the environment that exists/ed is the culprit they are after. And where is the Sgt. Carter issue of intimidating a player for helping a victim? Every bit as revolting as Briles’ and Paterno’s involvement to me.

    • Lrgk9

      Got to be a couple of dads that aren’t satisfied. I know I wouldn’t be if it was my kids.

      • I assume that the women had to sign off on the settlement since they are legal adults. The dads might not be satisfied, but they really don’t have much influence over the outcome unless their daughters asked them for input.

        I agree … $310k before legal fees (like 30-40%) wouldn’t be enough to me as a father.

  6. KornDawg

    Strenuously objects? Is that how it works?

  7. ClydeBoogie

    I got two girls they are real daddy’s girls, in high school and college i was known as the “Your dad looks like he went prison” pa. My girls asked me to to quit looking so mean when on campus.I always told them their safety was always my chief concern if my ugly ass mug frightened off some guys oh well. This is the most shameful BS I’ve seen in a while those are some damn animals up there.

  8. steve

    Aburn-esque performance to AC/DC’s ‘Money Talks’

  9. steve

    Apparently the Dali Lama’s ass under the orange silk sheet is still trashy, rashy and exposed: ‘….the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR)… launched an investigation into a lengthy list of sexual assault allegations at UT, a handful of which involved football players…’ This part isn’t over yet (that I have seen) and is unrelated to the civil action that the UTK AD just had fixed (some pricey PIs turned up tire dirt on the victims, undoubtedly, and UTK exercised their constitutional right to civilized blackmail). Butch and Co. ‘do things the right way’. Only UTK can make the $ sign look self-righteous.

  10. fred russo

    You have one school TN that recruits sex criminals and one school MISS that buys players. both disgusting!!!!!