Former Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Keith Mumphery (25). (Photo: Andrew Weber, Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)
Former NFL and Michigan State University football player Keith Mumphery has settled a lawsuit against MSU stemming from his dismissal from the school over a claim he sexually assaulted a female. At the same time, a lawsuit the woman brought against MSU also was settled.
Court records show the Mumphery settlement was reached Thursday in a session attended by Mumphery and Brian Quinn, the acting general counsel for MSU. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court records.
Mumphery’s attorney Stuart Bernstein said they had no further comment and the formal settlement was still being drawn up.
The expectation is Mumphery will play in the NFL again.
The woman’s suit was settled Wednesday in a separate session, attended by her attorney and Quinn. The woman’s suit was filed under the name Jane Doe.
MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said the university couldn’t comment on the details.
“Yes, the university did settle this week, but that’s all I can confirm right now because the actual details of the settlement haven’t been entered and then agreed upon by all parties. Until that happens we can’t share any more information,” she said.
Mumphery’s federal lawsuit was filed in May 2018.
In the lawsuit, Mumphery said he had been essentially blackballed from the NFL after the Detroit Free Press in 2017 published an article exposing his dismissal from MSU the year before because of an alleged sexual assault.
The lawsuit also claimed Mumphery’s expulsion has left him unable to complete his graduate degree in communications, costing him a job outside professional football.
At issue is an encounter between Mumphery and a female MSU student in March 2015, as Mumphery, who had completed his MSU playing career, was on campus to work out for NFL scouts at the school’s annual pro day.
The woman in the case also sued MSU in federal court, alleging the school helped Mumphery come back to campus after it had banned him.
The lawsuits and police reports reviewed by the Free Press paint a picture of the incident that differs greatly, depending on who is doing the telling.
The woman reported to MSU Police on March 17, 2015, she had been sexually assaulted in her dorm room. According to the campus police report, the two met a few months before the incident on an online dating site, agreeing to meet at her dorm room weeks later. The police report details conflicting accounts of who was the aggressor and whether elements of their sexual behavior were consensual.
The woman’s lawsuit says the university took proper action only after the federal Office of Civil Rights forced them to re-evaluate cases and after Mumphery had completed his playing eligibility.
According to the lawsuit, on Jan. 22, 2016, a review panel convened and determined the Michigan State investigative office made both procedural errors and arbitrary and capricious findings when investigating the sexual assault complaint.
The investigative office was directed to reopen the investigation to clarify its findings and to remedy the procedural errors.
On March 21, 2016, a full year after the assault was reported, investigators found that the victim had not given “consent” as defined in MSU’s Policy on Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and that Mumphery violated the policy by sexually assaulting the plaintiff.
Mumphery’s lawsuit contended, in graphic language, that the woman was the aggressor and he stopped sex with her when she got upset when he wanted to put a condom on.
“He would later tell the OIE investigators that he did not communicate with” the accuser “after that point,” the lawsuit said. “He also told the OIE investigators that ‘When you’re a star athlete, chicks come for you from all directions. My sister got a baby and I don’t have sex without a condom.’ “
Keith Mumphery, WR, Texans. 2016 stats: 10 receptions, 69 yards in 11 games. (Photo: Eric Christian Smith, AP)
Mumphery’s lawsuit claims he completely cooperated with police, while the woman did not. It also claims that the MSU investigator looking into the case cleared Mumphery, but the university had a predetermined outcome it wanted.
“The Defendants believed that the easiest way to accomplish this was to ignore the due process rights of Plaintiff (who had graduated from Michigan State and was training in Florida) by repeatedly and systematically failing to give him notice of the appeal and subsequent renewed investigation,” Mumphery’s lawsuit said.
MSU then kicked Mumphery off campus and barred him from coming back until 2019. The lawsuit noted the Detroit Free Press wrote an article on May 31, 2017, revealing the expulsion, and that led to Mumphery being cut from the Houston Texans football team.
“As a result of these due process violations, Plaintiff continues to suffer ongoing harm, including damages to his reputation, permanent loss of employment opportunities, and other economic and non-economic damages,” the 55-page lawsuit said. “In particular, the discipline imposed by Michigan State has permanently damaged his career prospects in his chosen profession, denied him the benefits of education at his chosen school after his career as a professional athlete is completed thereby damaging the post-athletic career he intended to pursue after his professional football career, and damaged Plaintiff’s academic and professional reputation.”
Contact David Jesse: 313-222-8851 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @reporterdavidj. Lansing State Journal reporter Carol Thompson contributed to this report.
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