The University of Kansas athletics department paid former fullback Caperton Humphrey nearly $50,000 in benefits to sign a non-disparagement agreement and leave the program in 2019 after reporting four unnamed defensive players for allegedly threatening violence against him and his family as well as selling marijuana, according to Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star.
Humphrey's family is looking to pursue legal action against former Kansas head coach Les Miles, former athletic director Jeff Long, compliance director David Reed and KU Athletics after Caperton developed anger issues and depression following the school's actions.
Miles reportedly suggested Humphrey and the players settle their dispute through full-contact drills in practice. As the situation continued to escalate, Reed offered an agreement for Caperton to leave the program as Miles continued to use the four defensive players on the field.
“Les Miles and Jeff Long swept this under the rug and tried to buy our silence,” Jamie Humphrey, Caperton's father, said. “This is how they operated while representing Kansas.”
Per the Star:
The deal, in essence, would be this: If Caperton left Lawrence, took KU online classes in West Virginia, and he and his family agreed to not talk about his experiences with the football team, he would continue to be paid his tuition and monthly stipend money from spring 2019 through his expected graduation date in May 2020.
Specifically, the document stated that the Humphreys “understand and agree they will not make or publish, directly or indirectly, any materially negative comments verbally or in writing, on social media or in any other forum” about KU and KU Athletics employees “that might cause an individual to reasonably question the integrity, quality, character, competence or diligence of the University of Kansas, its Athletic Department, or its administrators, coaches, faculty and/or staff.”
The value of Caperton’s tuition total with the offer would be slightly higher than the $28,431.08 the Humphreys paid during the 2017 spring, summer and fall semesters combined before he was put on scholarship. The stipend checks of roughly $1,289 per month also would add up to $18,331.20, according to an email sent to Jamie by KU’s assistant athletic director for student services.
Additionally, KU reimbursed the family 58 cents per mile to take Humphrey back home to West Virginia while providing stipends for food, lodging and transportation as well as agreeing to ship his personal belongings back to him from Lawrence, Kansas.
The agreement was signed by Reed, a long-time family friend of the Humphreys, which an anonymous Big 12 compliance official told Newell was "unusual."
The fullback lived in an apartment above the four players during his time in Lawrence. As the situation continued to play out, the Humphreys traveled to Kansas to move Caperton to a different apartment when the players burst into the unit, threatened Caperton, his parents and his 15-year-old brother. Jamie Humphrey called 911. The player left before police arrived.
Humphrey said previous altercations before and during practice escalated when he noticed the lug nuts on his car's tire had all been loosened. Despite reporting the abuse to Reed and asking for a meeting with Miles and his family, the head coach would only meet with the players, reportedly asking both sides to apologize to each other.
“I came out of that meeting, and I was like, [forget] this,” Caperton said. “They don’t want to talk to my family. They don’t want to do anything to help me. Why sit in this misery and fear for my life over something dumb?”
An open records request by the Star to recover Jamie's 911 call was denied by Lawrence police because it was "part of the criminal investigative record." The department did not respond when asked by the outlet why no offense report was created after police responded to the apartment unit.
Miles was fired in March 2021 following an investigation into sexual misconduct during his time at LSU. Long, who oversaw the hiring of Miles, was fired a day later. Neither responded to the Star for comment. Both KU Athletics and Reed, who still serves as compliance director, declined to comment.