NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The NFL closed the case on the New Orleans Saints hazing incident at training camp. It won’t be that easy for the team.
Jeff Danish, a free-agent rookie who said a two-minute run through a gantlet of veteran players left him with 14 stitches in his left arm, facial bruises and emotional scars, is suing the Saints for more than $650,000.
The hazing happened on the final night of training camp, Aug. 20, at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., and names the team, assistant coach Walt Corey and players Andre Royal, Troy Davis, Brian Jones, Isaac Davis, Keith Mitchell and Brady Smith.
“I don’t know what he thinks I did,” Smith said before refusing further comment on the suit. Mitchell and Davis also refused to comment, saying Saints officials had told them not to talk about the suit.
“Coach told me not to say anything,” Davis said. “I wasn’t part of it and I can’t say anything.”
Other players hazed were No. 1 draft pick Kyle Turley, second-round pick Cam Cleeland, No. 6 pick Chris Bordano and seventh-round pick Andy McCullough.
Rookies said they were punched, elbowed and hit with a bag of coins as they ran a gauntlet between lines of veterans. Cleeland missed time with headaches and blurred vision in one eye and McCullough, a wide receiver from Tennessee, had a bloody nose.
Danish said the hazing violated NFL regulations against physical abuse of players. His lawsuit also alleges violations of federal, state and local laws.
No criminal charges were filed.
The Danish lawsuit seeks in excess of $650,000 in damages for lost wages, impaired future earnings capacity, pain and suffering, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life.
“He’s had a tough time ever since that incident,” said Jimmy Gould, Danish’s agent. “It really threw him off kilter.”