University of Virginia football players staged a gladiator-style fight between a pair of incoming freshmen, a dangerous hazing incident that resulted in a concussion and jeopardized the career of a promising young receiver, according to a federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
The teasing that the newcomer faced steadily escalated, and after just one week of training camp, the first under new Cavaliers Coach Bronco Mendenhall, players used athletic tape to mark off a ring inside the Virginia locker room and forced Howard to fight another freshman, receiver Hasise Dubois, against his will, the complaint states.
The locker room battle included “flashing lights, loud music, and announcements to simulate a ‘prize fight,’ ” according to the filing.
More than 100 people witnessed the fight, the complaint states, including Famika Anae, a graduate assistant on the coaching staff and the son of the team’s offensive coordinator, Robert Anae. No one tried to intervene, and, in fact, they were encouraged to put away their cellphones and refrain from recording, Howard’s lawsuit charges.