Troy Football Coaches, Player Face Sexual Abuse Allegations
Former Troy University punter Jack Dawson and coaches Brian Blackmon, Dayne Brown and Jamaal Smith have been named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed in federal court in Montgomery, Ala. on July 25 by John Haynes, a former Troy kicker, according to the Associated Press.
The suit alleges that while Haynes was laying face down on the ground, watching a football game on his phone, Dawson sodomized him with a pool cue stick. Other players surrounding him "laughed" at the assault and a video of it circled social media shortly after.
Haynes reported the incident to Troy University police in December of 2020 and left the school shortly thereafter.
The alleged victim also claims that he was bullied by his peers due to a perception that he may have been a homosexual. The suit sites Title IX violations, sexual harassment, bullying, molestation, violence and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Blackmon, Brown, and Smith are accused of being negligent in their handling of the situation by the suit, according to filings. The suit states that they knew about the abuse, and did nothing to stop it. Smith and Brown are still on Troy's staff while Blackmon is at UCF under head coach Gus Malzahn.
Dawson was arrested Monday, per the Montgomery Advisor, in connection with the incident along with other charges and released on bond. He is due in court on October 5th and his charges include the sodomizing of Haynes, another assault of Haynes, and the repeated punching in the face of a teammate. All three instances of assault occurred during the 2020 football season.
Dawson transferred to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, following the 2020 season and was the Gamecocks' starting punter for all of 2021. As of the publication of this article, he is still listed as being on the team. Jacksonville State has failed to comment on any of the allegations or Dawson's arrest.