TUCSON (CN) — A former swim team member has sued the University of Arizona, claiming that after he was beaten by a teammate his coach berated, ridiculed and ostracized him until he was forced to give up his scholarship and leave the university.
Nicholas Hogsed, 21, says he was in his second year of eligibility when an unidentified teammate assaulted him in August 2016. He says he was treated and released at a hospital for multiple injuries, and he reported the assault to the university and swimming coach Richard DeMont.
“Instead of taking any action to address the hostility, Coach DeMont retaliated against him by repeatedly blaming, demeaning and belittling plaintiff for reporting the matter to the U of A dean of students,” Hogsed says in the Friday complaint in Pima County Court.
He says DeMont told him to “be a man” and that his door was always open if he wanted to discuss real issues instead of “pissant bullshit.”
In ensuing weeks, DeMont continued to berate Hogsed, told other swimmers to ostracize him, and encouraged him to quit the team, according to the complaint.
When Hogsed asked for clearance to transfer to another school, something DeMont had to approve, Hogsed says DeMont told him he would sign only if he dropped his complaint with the dean of students. Hogsed says he left the university in December 2016 after suffering weight loss, anxiety, flashbacks in dreams, stress, fear and headaches.
Danny Martinez, a spokesman for the University of Arizona swim team, declined comment Friday, saying he was not aware of the lawsuit. Hogsed’s attorney, Michael Rich, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hogsed, 21, was a freestyle swimmer at UA. He came to Arizona from East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Georgia, about 50 miles southwest of Atlanta, according to the University of Arizona online team roster. He seeks damages for negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, medical expenses, lost educational opportunities and costs of suit.