Ex-Louisville player alleges beatings in the locker room, cover up by coaching staff

Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong calls out instructions during the second half of play against the North Carolina Tar Heels. His alleged actions off the field may cost him and his school. (Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Louisville defensive lineman Patrick Grant has officially sued the school he remains enrolled in after he claimed he was coerced into covering up a massive beating at the hands of his teammates.

Grant claims that teammates Jacob and Issac Geffrad — who were both dismissed from the Cardinals and are no longer enrolled as students — beat him “so badly that he required immediate, urgent care and nearly lost his left eye.”

However, while in the ambulance, the team’s trainer told Grant to lie to the hospital staff.

“Out of fear and a desire to play, Patrick lied as instructed, telling the doctor he was horsing around in the locker room and hit his eye on a locker door,” attorney Gregg Hovious of Louisville wrote in the suit, filed Dec. 21 in Jefferson Circuit Court in Louisville.

Hovious, according to ESPN, wasn’t available for immediate comment, and Louisville officials did not comment on pending litigation.

Where does Charlie Strong, the head coach that has overseen a resurgent Cardinals football program, come into play? Seemingly, the man is simply going about his business and preparing his current crop of players for a Sugar Bowl matchup with Florida.

After Grant suffered his injuries, including what is called a “blowout fracture” that almost caused him to lose his left eye, Strong had initially promised to fulfill Grant’s scholarship.

However, after Grant suffered another injury, not only did Strong allegedly rescind Grant’s ride, but he did so over a phone call and “hung up” on Grant when the player protested.

The suit alleges that Charlie Strong and the university violated NCAA bylaws by canceling the scholarship without a hearing. Louisville will most likely have to prove that Strong cancelled the free ride with real cause and did so through the proper channels. The suit requests that a judge order the school to reinstate the scholarship. The suit also seeks compensatory damages and a jury trial.

There are still obviously lots of moving parts involved in this story.

One thing, however, is certain; should the allegations prove true, Louisville will have wished Strong had taken the Tennessee coaching job he had been offered.

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