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Penn State head coach James Franklin walks around the field at AT&T Stadium ahead of the Cotton Bowl against Memphis on Dec. 28, 2019.

Last updated 1:50 p.m. on Jan. 15

Former Penn State football player Isaiah Humphries alleges he was hazed and harassed by the team's upperclassmen — and the coaching staff, including head coach James Franklin, did nothing to stop the upperclassmen's actions when Humphries reported it.

In a 46-page federal lawsuit filed on Monday, Humphries said he and other underclassman players faced consistent actions of hazing and harassment that were orchestrated by defensive tackle Damion Barber, linebacker Micah Parsons, defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and linebacker Jesse Luketa.

The suit, filed in U.S. Middle District Court, alleges this served as a form of "initiation" into the football program.

Humphries left Penn State in November 2018, transferring to the University of California in January 2019.

The lawsuit names Penn State, Franklin and Barber as defendants, listing eight counts against them.

In a statement, Penn State said the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and the Office of Student Conduct investigated Humphries' allegations independent from Intercollegiate Athletics. 

In addition, the statement says Penn State Police investigated related allegations and forwarded the results to the Centre County district attorney, who reviewed the case and decided that no charges would be pursued.

The university said no claims of hazing were substantiated against any of the players, and, after "extensive interviews," it did not learn of anything that would substantiate the claims against Franklin. 


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However, the lawsuit alleges these upperclassmen told underclassmen such as Humphries "I am going to Sandusky you," "I am going to f*** you" and "This is Jerry." Humphries also alleges they told underclassmen they would make them "their b**** because this is a prison."

Additionally, the suit alleges the upperclassmen would wrestle younger players to the ground, and either simulate humping, place their genitals on the underclassmen's faces or simulate ejaculation near the face or buttocks of underclassmen.

In the shower, the suit alleges these upperclassmen would place their genitalia on the buttocks of underclassmen while naked.

They also allegedly grabbed underclassmen's genitalia.

All instances of alleged misconduct occurred in the Lasch Building, a Penn State dormitory and other locations in Centre County, according to the suit.

The suit says Barber, Parsons, Gross-Matos and Luketa repeatedly bullied, threatened and intimidated underclassmen when underclassmen "presented a resistance" to their behavior.


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"The aforementioned prohibited conduct of harassment and hazing served to recklessly or intentionally endanger the mental and physical health of the lower classmen, such as [Humphries]," the suit reads.

The suit alleges the football coaching staff observed the misconduct on multiple instances but did nothing to stop it. Humphries claims he reported the hazing and harassment to coaching staff multiple times, and that his father, former Penn State and NFL football player Leonard Humphries, reported the incidents to Franklin and other coaching staff members.

Despite the reports, the suit says Franklin and other coaching staff members did nothing to stop the hazing or harassment.

Additionally, Humphries claims the coaching staff retaliated to the reports by unfairly scrutinizing his athletic performance, setting him up for failure during athletic drills, denying him necessary medical accommodations, seeking to remove him from the football program, and providing negative reviews when Humphries sought to transfer schools.

The suit also alleges Luketa specifically retaliated by threatening Humphries with physical harm and telling him if he ever visited "his city" in Canada that he would have him gunned down.

The suit claims that when an anonymous report was filed to the Penn State Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response last year regarding the alleged hazing and harassment occurring within the team, the football program sought to conceal incidents of misconduct during an investigation.


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However, the suit says Barber was ultimately charged during the investigation.

The suit alleges Penn State, Franklin and Barber violated the Pennsylvania Antihazing Law, Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law and the university's own anti-hazing policies.

The suit demands a jury trial. Humphries seeks compensatory damages and exemplary damages.

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