Former football player says University of Kansas ignored harassment complaints

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LAWRENCE, KS – OCTOBER 27: A general view of Memorial Stadium before the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Kansas Jayhawks on October 27, 2018 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A former University of Kansas football player says the university offered him more than $50,000 in benefits if he left the program and stayed quiet about harassment he experienced from four other players on the team.

Caperton Humphrey told the Kansas City Star that he received little help from school officials after he reported the threats and harassment from teammates.

Humphrey, who played at Kansas in 2017 and 2018 first as a walk-on and later on scholarship, said the feud he had with several teammates culminated in a confrontation between Humphrey and the other players in his apartment when the players threatened him, his father and his 15-year-old brother.

Humphrey said at some point in February 2019, someone loosened the lug nuts on one of the tires on his vehicle enough that he noticed the tire wobbling in his side-view mirror. Humphrey reported that incident to police, but no arrest was made because there wasn’t evidence to show who loosened the nuts holding the wheel on.

Humphrey said he told university officials about the harassment and that he had seen some of the other players selling drugs at the apartment building where they all lived. But former football coach Les Miles responded by suggesting the players work it out between themselves during full-contact drills in practice.

The newspaper reported that Miles and former KU athletic director Jeff Long didn’t respond to inquiries for this story, and KU compliance director David Reed and other KU Athletics officials declined to comment.

The Kansas City Star also contacted each of Humphrey’s four former teammates about his allegations. Two of them didn’t respond and two declined to comment. The newspaper did not name the other former players.

Humphrey said that ultimately the university offered to pay his tuition and his monthly stipend of $1,289 if he took online KU classes from his home in West Virginia and agreed not to talk about what happened. The university also agreed to reimburse Humphrey for his trip home from college and pay to ship his belongings to him from a storage unit in Lawrence. Those items were worth a little over $50,000.

Humphrey’s father, Jamie Humphrey, said his son has battled depression and started to see a psychiatrist since his time in Lawrence, and the family is considering a lawsuit against the university and the officials involved.

“Les Miles and Jeff Long swept this under the rug and tried to buy our silence,” Jamie Humphrey said. “This is how they operated while representing Kansas.”

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