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Tennessee wants Manning reference out of lawsuit

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Posted at 6:05 AM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 08:05:35-05

The University of Tennessee has filed a motion to strike a reference to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning from a lawsuit that alleges the school has violated Title IX policies in its handling of sexual assault complaints against athletes.

The lawsuit filed Feb. 9 by six unidentified women focuses on five cases from 2013 to 2015, but also references incidents dating back to 1995 to show how the school has historically handled reports of player misconduct. One paragraph in the 64-page document mentions a sexual harassment complaint made by a Tennessee trainer in 1996 including an incident involving Manning, then the Volunteers quarterback. A female trainer at UT reported that Manning "sat on her face" while she treated him.

The motion filed Tuesday says the Manning reference should be struck "because of the utter lack of relevance" it has to the lawsuit.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the motion also states that the reference to the incident during Manning's time as a student is "immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous" and was included in "a misguided (and unfortunately successful) attempt to generate publicity."

Also Tuesday, Tennessee's coaches held a rare joint press conference to say that an unfair picture of the athletic department is emerging amid a lawsuit that states the school mishandled sexual assault complaints against athletes.