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Judge: UC football player can't return to school

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Posted at 9:48 PM, Sep 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-28 21:48:20-04

CINCINNATI -- The attorney for the University of Cincinnati football player said that a decision by federal judge means that the football player and student cannot return to UC at this point.

Josh Engel, the attorney for John Doe, the football player who is now suing the college, said the plaintiff's request for a restraining order was denied, and the school's decision to place him on an "interim suspension" was upheld -- banning him from attending class, playing football or being on campus.

Engel said he and his client will discuss other options in upcoming days, but they have already requested a full preliminary injunction hearing.

“John Doe is suffering irreparable harm from the interim suspension that has been imposed before the entire UC disciplinary process has been completed,” Engel wrote in the lawsuit, which claims gender discrimination and civil rights violation by UC.

He is unable to attend classes and unless a judge intervenes, will not graduate this year, according to the lawsuit.

“In addition, John Doe is a football player who wishes to complete his senior season. The interim suspension not only prohibits him from playing in his senior season – his last chance to compete – but also prevents him from providing game film for a possible NFL career.”

According to the lawsuit, the senior football player met a female student on Tinder, a popular dating/hookup app, in late February. After they texted about sexual acts, she came to his apartment and they had consensual sex. Afterward, the female student met her friends and went out drinking, according to the lawsuit.

She later contacted police and said the sex had been forced on her. After investigating, police did not file any charges and medical records did not show any injuries, according to the lawsuit.

A week later, she made a complaint to UC. But school officials did not hold a hearing until late August, only after the athletic director complained about how long the process was taking to UC President Santa Ono, according to the lawsuit.

After what the lawsuit describes as an “unfair” hearing, the Administrative Review Committee found that he had violated UC’s sexual misconduct policy and recommended a one-year suspension.

Engel also sued Ohio State University this week on behalf of an expelled medical student who is worried about not getting a residency after he says a female student accused him of rape nine months after a consensual encounter. Engel also has cases pending against Ohio University and Marietta College.

“I get calls a couple of times of week from students who are facing this situation,” he said. “Eventually one of these cases (across the nation) will wind its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.”