Ex-Howard Players Sue Coach

October 5, 2018

Two former Howard University basketball players have sued their coach, Kevin Nickelberry, as well as the school, accusing him of misleading players.

According to The Washington Post, Kai Tease and Ausar Madison are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Madison alleged that Nickelberry “guaranteed” him a scholarship in the summer of 2013, but reneged on his promise three times, until Madison left the program in 2017. Tease, who, according to the lawsuit, requires academic support because of a learning disability, alleged that he never received the support he needed.

The lawsuit alleges that Nickelberry violated NCAA regulations with his training schedule, such as scheduling punitive practices after losses. Tease and Madison suffered Jones fractures from repeated motion, and alleged that Nickelberry would “publicly shame” any player who refused to play.

Both players are seeking “an amount to be determined at trial but believed to be in excess of $9,000,000 in damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper,” while Madison is seeking at least $230,000 for breach of contract.

Crystal Brown, a spokesperson for Howard, sent an email in response to the complaint, reiterating Howard's commitment to “complying with all NCAA and conference rules,” as well as to the well-being of its athletes. She said that “ the University does not comment on pending litigation,” but that it would defend itself against the accusations.

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