A few former and current Penn State players are defending James Franklin and their teammates amidst a recent lawsuit filed that alleged that violent hazing was carried out by a handful of members of the football team and ignored by the head coach.
Matt Miller of PennLive.com reported that Franklin allegedly retaliated against former player Isaiah Humphries after he reported on a violent hazing incident carried out by Damion Barber and other members of the team. Humphries is also accusing Yetur Gross-Matos, Micah Parsons and Jesse Luketa as participants.
A federal lawsuit was filed on Tuesday.
When the news broke, a few current and former Penn State football players posted their thoughts on Twitter, saying the allegations are false. Some are accusing Humphries of looking for “headlines” and “cash.”
Current members Garrett Taylor and Lamont Wade, as well as former player Corey Bolds, who transferred from Rutgers. Below are the messages they sent out after learning of the lawsuit:
Lying, looking for attention….
— LaMont Wade 🦍 (@Goony_38) January 14, 2020
Was at PSU when Isaiah got on campus & I promise you the allegations are false, looking for money & a headline smh https://t.co/kVr2xaXIN7
— Corey Bolds™ (@Chief_Corey) January 14, 2020
I don’t speak out often, but not going to sit here quietly while @PennStateFball is falsely being dragged through the mud by someone who quit on the program…
— Garrett Taylor (@GTaylor_17) January 14, 2020
After the lawsuit was filed, Penn State released a statement saying that an investigation followed initial reports of misconduct. There was no evidence to substantiate the claims, according to the release.
“The University has established processes in place for responding to claims of potential misconduct,” the statement said. “In accordance with our processes, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and the Office of Student Conduct carried out investigations of the plaintiff’s claims independent from Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition, Penn State police investigated related allegations and forwarded the results of that investigation to the Office of the Centre County Distict Attorney (DA). The DA reviewed the case and decided that no charges would be pursued.”
Humphries was a member of Penn State’s 2018 recruiting class as a three-star safety. He was ranked as the No. 34 player at his position for the 2018 cycle. He decided to transfer to Cal following his one year with the Nittany Lions. He was forced to sit out this fall due to NCAA transfer regulations.
According to the report, Humphries claims that the participants in the hazing invoked the name of Jerry Sandusky, the disgraced former Penn State assistant coach, who was found guilty of sexual assault charges during his time in State College.
Last April, an investigation occurred at the Lasch building following reports of indecent assaults. Several players and members of the football program were interviewed and denied the allegations. One player denying the allegations passed a lie detector test.
No charges were filed following the investigation.