A federal Title IX lawsuit has been filed against Utah State University over sexual misconduct by one of the school's football players. While the lawsuit does not even name Matt Wells, the school's football coach at the time of the offenses, as a defendant, fallout from the lawsuit has caught him up in the dispute to such an extent that he has found the need to make a statement about the claims in it.
Utah State Football Player Jailed for Sexual Misconduct
The incident stems from the sexual misconduct of Utah State football player Torrey Green. He was convicted in January 2019, of raping five women while in college and sexually assaulting another. He was sentenced to a lengthy jail stint that treated each conviction consecutively – making him serve between 26 years and life behind bars.
All of those incidents occurred between 2013 and 2015, while Green was playing football for Utah State under head coach Matt Wells.
Title IX Lawsuit Filed Against Utah State By Victims
On November 1, a Title IX lawsuit was filed by one of Green's victims. In the lawsuit, she claims that Utah State failed to investigate Green, even though he had been accused of at least four other sexual assaults before he raped her.
By failing to investigate – and, presumably, expelling him – the lawsuit claims that Utah State violated Title IX by not providing her with a sexually safe educational experience.
Lawsuit Makes Enough Noise that Non-Defendant Coach Speaks Up
Even though the lawsuit was only filed against Utah State, the fallout from the allegations has been widespread enough that the former Utah State football coach, Matt Wells, was feeling blowback from it in his new role as coach of Texas Tech's football team.
Despite the fact that he was not being accused of any wrongdoing, enough people were putting the blame on him for not taking action that he felt the need to release a statement about the case. In that statement, Wells expressed his condolences for what had happened but emphasized that it was not his responsibility to investigate sexual misconduct allegations. That was what the Title IX office was there for.
Lawsuit Shows How Victim Advocate Organizations Want Conflicting Solutions
The lawsuit is a prime example of the strange and contradicting demands that victim's advocate organizations make over Title IX law. On the one hand, they want schools to provide a uniform system for investigating and punishing sexual misconduct. On the other hand, they demand that every person, no matter how tangentially related to the incident, conduct their own investigation.
These demands contradict each other in very apparent ways. The only thing holding them together is the interest in holding someone, literally anyone, accountable for alleged misconduct.
Joseph D. Lento: Title IX Defense Lawyer and Advisor
Joseph D. Lento is a national Title IX advisor and defense lawyer. He represents students, staff members, and faculty members who have been accused of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX.
Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686 for help.