Ex-Clemson soccer player sues over alleged hazing
Sep. 11, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — An ex-Clemson women's soccer player has sued Tigers coach Eddie Radwanski, his assistants and several former teammates for a 2011 hazing ritual in which she said she was blindfolded and ran into a brick wall at the team's playing field.
A 36-page suit on behalf of Haley Hunt was filed last month in state court in Pickens County. Hunt said Radwanski and his staff discussed a hazing plan with Tiger veterans that had the freshman doing "humiliating and demeaning acts."
Hunt, 21, from Aiken, said in the complaint she was ordered to sprint while blindfolded and ran into the wall. Hunt add that she suffered severe head trauma and had to eventually give up soccer, but still attends Clemson and is a senior.
"This obviously isn't what she was looking for in her last year," said Robert Sumner, Hunt's attorney.
Clemson disputes Hunt's characterizations of what took place. The school said in a statement it "looks forward to vigorously defending this case on its facts, rather than these allegations."
Hunt's suit includes Clemson women's soccer assistants Siri Mullinix and Jeff Robbins and nine players on the 2011 team. It also includes Terry Don Phillips, Clemson's athletic director at the time.
Hunt alleges she and other freshmen were surprised at their dorms, blindfolded and put into backs of SUVs or in trunks of cars. Hunt says they were driven around for about 30 minutes, stopping several times to perform the humiliating acts. Details of what acts happened were not detailed in the suit.
When the group arrived at the field, Hunt says she was spun around and told to run down the field. That's when Hunt says she was dizzy and disoriented and veered into a brick wall face first. Hunt says she was knocked unconscious and sustained serious injuries to her brain, head, face and hands.
Hunt said Radwanski asked players not tell anyone about the incident. She alleged that Clemson administrators did not conduct a thorough investigation and did not impose penalties on the Clemson soccer players and coaches involved.
Hunt returned to the team soon after her injuries, redshirting in 2011 before taking the field the next year when she played in 15 games and started five. Hunt said in 2013 her symptoms worsened and a neurologist ordered to stop playing soccer.
According to her university biography on the women's soccer website, Hunt was given a school award that recognizes "outstanding commitment and selflessness within the team culture."
The suit asks for unspecified damages