Two more football players and two more Jane Does added to UT sexual assault lawsuit

Two more football players and two more Jane Does added to UT sexual assault lawsuit

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Two more women and two more UT football players will be added to a lawsuit filed against the university, the plaintiff's lawyer told Local 8 News. This is expected to be added to the complaint Wednesday.

The sexual assault lawsuit was filed at the beginning of February by six women. They claim the university has a culture that allows athletes to get away with rape and sexual assault.

UT coaches voice support for athletics program

UT coaches from a variety of sports teams came together Tuesday morning to confirm their belief in the UT Athletics program.

The coaches told media they felt like the parents of the athletes and were trying to raise them to make the best decisions. The coaches also expressed a culture of fairness, respect and camaraderie among the various sports teams.

Reaction from plaintiff's lawyer

David Randolph Smith, the lawyer representing the eight women, told Local 8 News he watched the press conference via live stream. He thought it was appropriate the news conference was not all about the lawsuit and that UT Football Coach Butch Jones had a heartfelt statement about the victims.

Smith said the lawsuit is about specific cases involving athletes in specific sports, basketball and football, and cultures of those sports, not all athletes. He said the lawsuit doesn't deal with every sport and every athlete, just the specific ones mentioned in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also claimed that a teammate was beaten by his fellow athletes for helping a sexual assault victim. The lawsuit lists sexual assault incidents at the university that go back 20 years, including an incident involving Peyton Manning.

Other recent incidents involving UT football players

On February 17, a newcomer to the UT football team is at the center of an assault case. Prosecutors say Alexis Johnson strangled a woman after she refused a sexual encounter with him.

On February 16, a former UT player was charged after trying to arrange a sexual meeting with undercover law enforcement, who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

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