UNIONTOWN, Pa. (KDKA) — The head football coach at Uniontown Area High School is accused of failing to prevent hazing against some of his players.
A 17-page lawsuit filed in federal court claims that head coach Cedric Lloyd, another unnamed coach, and the school district allowed hazing, bullying, tampering with other players’ property, aggressive physical behavior and violence during an overnight stay at a pre-season football training camp in August 2018.
KDKA has reached out to Lloyd and the administration, but so far has not heard back.
“In August of 2018, my client was entering the Uniontown Area High School as a freshman student. He had every intention of playing football that year, and frankly, every year of his high school career,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, Joel Sanson.
“Those plans were derailed when he was brutally assaulted by a teammate.”
Filed on behalf of a former player, the suit claims that Lloyd and another coach failed to supervise players during an incident in which a player physically assaulted the plaintiff and, at one point, allegedly hit him while he was sleeping.
“He took his hands and clapped them violently against both ears, and he ruptured my client’s eardrum,” Sanson said.
Sanson also said he and his legal team are looking into another allegation over how Lloyd reacted to the incident.
“This coach, in an open setting with other players listening, made fun of my client’s hearing and mocked him because of the injuries that my client sustained,” Sanson claimed.
The suit alleges that the player responsible for the assault was recruited by Lloyd to play for Uniontown after his former school, Laurel Highlands, prevented him from participating in any sports due to unspecified behavioral and disciplinary problems.
The suit contains seven counts, including civil rights violations by Lloyd, the coaching staff and the district.
“This is more than just a problem with the coach down there,” Sanson said. “The administration has to be held accountable for this.”