Former Troy football player alleges abuse in lawsuit filed against ex-teammate and 3 coaches

TROY, Ala. -- A former Troy University football player has filed a lawsuit against an ex-teammate and three coaches, saying he was abused while on the team, including being sexually assaulted with a pool cue.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Montgomery, names former Troy punter Jack Dawson; special teams coordinators Brian Blackmon and Dayne Brown; and Jamaal Smith, director of player development.

The Associated Press is not using the name of the player who sued because it typically does not identify people who report acts of sexual assault.

The suit contends that the plaintiff was bullied because of a perception that he was gay.

The player was lying on his stomach on the floor of the players' lounge watching a football game on his phone when he felt "excruciating pain" from the alleged attack, according to the suit. A video circulated on social media showing the assault, which occurred as others watched and laughed, it says.

The complaint, filed July 25, alleges Title IX violations, sexual harassment, discrimination, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and harassment and "molestation and violence." The former player is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The three coaches knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it, the suit contends. Only Smith remains on Troy's staff. The alleged abuse occurred under the previous coaching staff.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff reported the pool cue assault to Troy University police in December 2020. It says he left the university soon after and suffered from bleeding, lingering physical pain and depression.

Dawson's attorney, Mary Ellen Bates, and Troy spokesman Matt Clower told al.com that Dawson and the university deny the allegations and will fight the suit in court.

Dawson was Jacksonville State's starting punter last season. A message left at Jacksonville State's public relations office Tuesday wasn't returned immediately.