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Tennessee Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2016

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 7:  A Tennessee Volunteer holds up his helmet in the team huddle before the NCAA football game against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Neyland Stadium on September 7, 2002 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The University of Tennessee has reportedly settled a lawsuit brought against it by eight female plaintiffs who accused the school of improperly handling sexual assaults involving student-athletes.

According to a Tuesday report from the Tennessean's Nate Rau and Anita Wadhwani, the school will pay the eight women a total of $2.48 million, which includes attorney fees, per the terms of the settlement.

While the school "agreed to the appointment of a special independent commission to review the response to sexual assaults at all universities within the UT system," it "did not admit to 'guilt, negligence or unlawful acts,'" according to Rau and Wadhwani.

In February, Rau and Wadhwani reported a lawsuit had been brought against Tennessee after a group of plaintiffs alleged that the university displayed "deliberate indifference" regarding complaints of sexual assaults.

The filing specifically alleged school chancellor Jimmy Cheek, athletic director Dave Hart and head football coach Butch Jones were indifferent to sexual assaults and rapes and strayed from imposing disciplinary action.

"Like many institutions, we are not perfect, but our goal is to continue to be the best we can be at creating awareness, educating, and preventing discrimination and abuse in any form, and to continue to be equally prepared when it does happen and to deal with it promptly, sensitively, fairly and effectively," Cheek said in a statement Tuesday, per Rau and Wadhwani.

According to the report, the school's administration and the athletic department will each pay 50 percent of the settlement.

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