University of Tennessee Argues Manning Complaint Irrelevant to Title IX LawsuitBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Tennessee is asking a judge to remove references to a 20-year-old sexual assault complaint against Peyton Manning from a Title IX lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed by six unnamed women, claims UT created a "hostile sexual" environment unfavorable to women, especially those who accused male student-athletes of sexual assault.
UT filed its motion Tuesday, arguing the lone paragraph dedicated to the Manning complaint is not relevant to the 64-page lawsuit, The Associated Press reported. The lawsuit focuses primarily on a number of former UT football players who committed their alleged sexual assaults between 2013 and 2015.
"The plaintiffs have made an immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous reference to a 20-year-old alleged incident involving Peyton Manning. The allegation does not involve the plaintiffs," read the motion.
The complainants are not seeking action against Manning, but state the 1996 incident illustrates UT's history of treating male student-athletes preferentially, KDVR Denver reported. Shortly after the women filed their lawsuit, Shaun King detailed court documents related to Dr. Jamie Naughright's complaint against Manning in a column for The New York Daily News.
The decades-old case has since remained in the news cycle as various details of the initial complaint, a subsequent settlement, a previous incident, and a confidentiality violation complaint continue to emerge from the documents.
Randolph Smith, an attorney representing the women suing UT, told WATE 6 Knoxville the complainants are adding two new UT football players to the lawsuit for alleged sexual assaults involving two other unnamed females.
The addition - Smith did not specify if the players were current or former - comes a day after UT's athletics coaches held a joint press conference to say in a unified message that they do not believe the school has a culture issue.