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Ex-football player Keith Mumphery sues Michigan State, claims its actions ended NFL career


EAST LANSING, Mich. -  A former Michigan State University football player is suing the university for dismissing him from the school over what he called false allegations of sexual misconduct by a female student.

In a suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Keith Mumphery said he is unable to play professional football or finish his graduate degree because of Michigan State's actions.

Mumphery was expelled from his graduate studies program and banned from campus in 2016 for violating the school's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy. He was not charged with a crime.

It's the second time the school has been sued for its handling of a 2015 sexual assault claim involving Mumphery.

The woman who claimed he had assaulted her is suing the university in federal court, claiming it allowed Mumphery to attend two university-sponsored events after he had been banned from campus, including a 2016 golf outing, without her being notified.

The suit said she was "terrified" when her friends told her Mumphery had been spotted on campus and around East Lansing.

A Michigan State spokeswoman did not immediately respond to email and telephone messages left for her by the State Journal on Tuesday night.

Mumphery's 55-page lawsuit names Michigan State, its Board of Trustees and former school president Lou Anna Simon as defendants, along with three other individuals. It alleges the university violated his constitutional right to due process, among other claims.

"There were repeated failures to give (Mumphery) proper notice of the proceedings," the suit says. "There was no proper hearing, there was no cross-examination; there was no sworn testimony ..."

The suit said Mumphery was cut by the Houston Texans a day after a report in a Houston newspaper questioned why the Texans signed a player who had been expelled from college for sexual assault. Since being cut, he has been unable to find a job in professional football, the suit says.

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Moreover, because he was banned from Michigan State's campus until the beginning of 2019, he can't finish his graduate degree in communications, according to the suit. Mumphery "will likely be barred" from other universities because of his "improper dismissal" from Mchigan State, it says.

According to the lawsuit by the woman who claimed Mumphery assaulted her, the university initially determined that Mumphery did not violate its policy but decided to expel him after the 90 days the university sets for investigations.

In an effort to end a federal investigation into the university's handling of sexual assault and harassment reporting, Michigan State reached an agreement that required it to review past Title IX cases. The complaint involving Mumphery was among those reviewed, the suit says.

In his suit, Mumphery claims that no new evidence was found to substantiate the woman's claim.

"Upon reconsideration of the initial finding, and to placate (her), Michigan State changed its original position and determined that (the woman's) story was true and that Plaintiff was guilty," the suit alleges. "The findings of the initial Investigative Report were merely re-interpreted in (the woman's) favor."


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