FOX19 Investigates: Former Xavier soccer player sues university over hazing allegations

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A former Xavier University soccer player is suing the University for allegations of hazing.

A court complaint outlines hazing allegations that happened last year.

Court documents state that Neil Henley and other freshman soccer players attended a party at the senior house where first year students were pressured to drink.

The complaint says the night of February 16, Henley was forced to drink a significant amount of alcohol and perform embarrassing acts such as traveling to a thrift store while intoxicated.

Before the event on February 16, other players wrote on a private Facebook page,

"Make peace with God tonight freshmen," "Don't be like freshman Steve...the few of us who know what happened to him keep quiet about it" and "Member no hazing is done it's a great time! Well except the freshmen."

As a result of the initiation, the documents say Henley sustained a number of head injuries because of falling and hitting his head on various items.

"All the information he has about the number of times he had a head injury or how many head strikes he had, and passing out all came from other players who were there," said Brian Goldwasser, Henley's attorney.

The complaint states that days later, Henley received initial testing and care for a concussion. The plaintiff says he was cleared to play by an unsupervised student trainer without the required "ImPACT" test, and less than 45 days later, he suffered a second concussion during a scrimmage.

"It's out all over the news about issues with concussions and sports players who had concussions and what its impact is on them in the future. Xavier did not follow its protocol," said Goldwasser.

The documents show that the second concussion impacted Henley's ability to perform daily activities and stay focused on academics. For the schools lack of oversight, the complaint includes negligence, negligent supervision, and vicarious liability.

Later that summer, the defendant, Xavier University, revoked Henley's scholarship for "performance issues". Court documents state these "performance issues" arose because of the negligence of the athletic department requiring Henley to return to soccer without concussion protocol clearance.

Henley's attorney says since that night in February, his client hasn't been the same.

"He did return to school at University of Louisville but has been unable to attend. He has memory issues, he's undergoing treatment for post concussive syndrome," said Goldwasser.

Henley is from Louisville, Kentucky where he played club soccer.

Henley graduated from Saint Xavier High School in Louisville and was named Kentucky's Gatorade boys soccer player of the year is senior season.

In a statement provided by Xavier, the university states:

We have reviewed the complaint. The allegations of wrongdoing are unfounded. The University will provide a vigorous defense.

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