Education

Former Troy U Football Player Sues Teammate for Assault


John Haynes, a former Troy University football player, is suing a former teammate and three coaches over an alleged pattern of abuse and bullying that he says resulted in him being sexually assaulted with a pool cue, according to CBS42 News.

The defendant, Jack Dawson, is now a punter for Jacksonville State University. He was served a summons at practice on July 29 and arrested Monday on multiple assault charges related to his alleged abuse of Haynes. Dawson was still listed on the JSU roster as of Tuesday afternoon.

The lawsuit alleges that Dawson—who was also Haynes’s suite mate at the Troy, Ala., university—repeatedly abused and bullied Haynes, subjecting him to verbal homophobic harassment and slurs as well as “molestation and violence.” The charges against Dawson include urinating on Haynes’s car in a Snapchat video, repeatedly exposing himself to Haynes and making violent threats.

The pattern, Haynes alleges, culminated in an incident where Dawson penetrated him with a pool cue, leading to pain and rectal bleeding that lasted for months.

The suit also names three former Troy coaches, former special teams coordinators Brian Blackmon and Dayne Brown along with current chief of staff Jamaal Smith, who Haynes says turned a blind eye to the alleged abuse. According to the lawsuit, both Haynes and his parents attempted to meet with coaches on several occasions to address Dawson’s harassment, to no avail.

At one meeting involving the parents, the suit says, Smith dismissed the abuse as “horseplay” and suggested that Haynes was homosexual. In another conversation with Blackmon, Haynes says he was told that “the way to handle a bully is to beat their ass.”

Haynes says he and Dawson met in August 2020 and that the harassment started “almost immediately.” Haynes withdrew from Troy that same year.

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