A federal lawsuit alleged Tuesday that former University of Tennessee and current University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wide receiver Drae Bowles was twice beaten by teammates in 2014 for "assisting" the woman who accused two players of rape.
According to Dustin Dopirak of the Knoxville News Sentinel, the alleged incidents took place in November 2014 in relation to rape allegations against former Tennessee players Michael Williams and A.J. Johnson, who are awaiting separate trials.
The federal lawsuit was reportedly filed by six female University of Tennessee students, five of whom allege that they were raped, per Dopirak. They accused the university of being "deliberately indifferent" with regard to their allegations.
One portion of the lawsuit states that Bowles drove one of the alleged victims to the hospital, while one of the plaintiffs claimed to have witnessed Bowles getting jumped by unidentified football players on Nov. 17.
It is also alleged that athletic coaches witnessed the first attack and that a second assault of Bowles took place at the team facility.
Charlies Burris of Fox Sports Knoxville speculated on what the potential involvement of coaches could mean for the university:
Maybe the NCAA could allege loss of institutional control, but if FSU didn't get hit with that, I can't imagine UT will.— Charlie Burris (@Charlie_Burris) February 10, 2016
According to the lawsuit, former Tennessee linebacker Curtis Maggitt allegedly admitted the second assault took place, and former Vols defensive back Geraldo Orta allegedly told Williams the team had put a "hit" out on Bowles before telling police he believed "Bowles had betrayed the team and that where he (Orta) came from, people got shot for doing what Bowles did."
In an interview with Dopirak in February 2015, Bowles said he gave an alleged victim a ride home rather than to the hospital and said he was unaware of any sexual assault potentially taking place.
Bowles made no mention of getting attacked by teammates and chalked up his decision to transfer as a desire to play more: "It was just playing time. I wanted to play more. It was nothing personal. Being there for three years and what not, I just wanted to play more and I had two years of eligibility left."
Per Dopirak, Bowles has received a subpoena to testify in relation to the lawsuit.