Jacksonville State punter Jack Dawson turned himself into authorities Monday and was arrested on multiple counts of assault against a former teammate, the Montgomery Advisor reports.
The ex-teammate, John Haynes, says he was attacked because Dawson and other players thought he was gay. In a federal lawsuit, which Jacksonville’s CBS 42 obtained and publicized, he says the torment ranged from verbal assaults to forced sodomy with a pool cue — and much more.
Haynes and Dawson played together for Troy University, located in Alabama. Haynes’ suit also lists three Troy coaches — Brian Blackmon, Jamaal Smith, and Dayne Brown — as defendants. Haynes says they knew about the assaults, but did nothing to stop them.
Criminal warrants for Dawson’s arrest were issued last October. He was served a summons July 29 on the Jacksonville State practice field, according to the Advisor.
Dawson faces warrants for three incidents, all of which allegedly occurred during the fall of 2020. The first warrant alleges that Dawson forcibly sodomized Haynes with a pool cue, leaving him to bleed out on the floor.
The second warrant, dated November 2020, says Dawson picked up Haynes and dropped him onto the pool deck of an off-campus residence, causing large bruises.
The third warrant covers an alleged fight that took place in December 2020, in which Dawson is accused of breaking Haynes’ nose after punching him seven times.
Dawson transferred to Jacksonville State prior to the 2021 season. Haynes, a long-snapper, no longer plays college football.
The lawsuit describes an intensely homophobic environment around the Troy football team, in which abuse was tolerated and violence was encouraged. In a November 2020 meeting with the three coaches listed in the suit, Haynes says Coach Brown told him to fight back if he wanted the bullying to stop.
Coach Smith allegedly accused Haynes of being gay.
“John, you gotta stop doing all this gay shit like getting into bed with other guys and being so nice,” the lawsuit quotes Smith as saying. “Guys don’t like that gay shit. That’s why Jack and others are bullying you so you just gotta beat Jack’s ass.”
To make matter even worse, Haynes was suite mates with Dawson. He says his request to change rooms was denied.
CBS 42 includes all of the suit’s disturbing details in its writeup. The lawsuit alleges Title IX violations, sexual harassment, discrimination, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Haynes is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.