He said the university violated the girl's rights under Title IX, which says no
person should be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under,
any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
"Knowing that sexual harassment was going on, they in effect denied her her
educational rights," Whitaker said.
UAB athletic director Herman Frazier said the allegations would prove to be
false, and he questioned the timing of the lawsuit's filing. UAB kicked off its
football season Thursday night.
"I find these charges to be outrageous; in the long run, they will prove to be
unfounded," he said.
The suit names the university's board of trustees, five administrators, head
football coach Watson Brown, the campus police chief and more than 20
student athletes, including the starting quarterback.
It seeks $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive
According to the suit, the girl entered college just before her 15th birthday under
guarantees from the university that she would receive special treatment and
protection because of her age -- "that she would be 'watched' and that the
university would provide for all additional care and protection needed for
someone so young."
"That is to say, they were told that the
dormitories were a safe, protected
environment in which 'Jane' could live,"
the suit said.
The girl's mother allegedly told Warren
Hale, director of student housing, and
Susan McKinnon, assistant vice
president for Enrollment Management,
that should any problems arise "they
should call her and she would come to
help 'Jane,' " the lawsuit says.
"Without these assurances, neither
'Jane' nor her parents would have accepted the scholarship offer to attend UAB.
Likewise, UAB would have never had the public relations advantage of
trumpeting the fact that they had the youngest college student in the state," the
The suit says the girl's first quarter was an academic success as she earned a
3.5 grade-point average during spring 2000.
But things spiraled out of control when she moved into Blazer Hall, a dormitory
that houses many UAB football and basketball players, according to the suit.
During the summer of that year, she had her first sexual encounters with
athletes, often after they gave her an alcoholic beverage, the suit says. It alleges
university officials knew of the drinking, but "they did nothing to stop it."
"Thereafter, the drinking and sexual abuse in campus dormitories with (student
athletes) increased at a mind-spinning rate, with none of the parental oversight
promised by the university," the suit alleges.
"'Jane' essentially became known as the 'white, 15-year-old that would have sex
with athletes.' "
The girl began drinking liquor and smoking marijuana, the suit says. It says she
then turned to cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. The suit also alleges a university
hospital employee began exchanging morphine with the girl for cocaine.
In fall 2000, the girl passed out after drinking numerous Crown Royal shots and
had to be treated for alcohol poisoning, the suit says. Her parents were never
notified, the suit alleges.
Her grades plummeted, the suit says, and she skipped classes for months and
had a 1.9 GPA in her last quarter in school, in fall 2000. "No professor or
teacher defendant ever notified her parents," the suit says.
The girl's mother learned of her daughter's problems just before Christmas
break from a man who said he was a UAB policeman, according to the suit.
"For almost half a year, 'Jane' had been repeatedly sexually abused, addicted to
drugs and alcohol, and the first contact to her parents came as a result of a call
initiated by 'Jane's' mother," the suit alleges.
The suit says the parents put the girl in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program
over the Christmas break. She never returned to UAB.
"The university's actions and inaction culminated in the withdrawal of 'Jane'
from school and an end to her dreams of completing her degree and beginning
her career before reaching 19 years of age," the suit says.