The University of Kansas paid a student tens of thousands to leave the university after he accused a group of fellow players of harassment, according to a report.
According to an expose by the Kansas City Star, Caperton Humphrey, a white former KU student and Jayhawks player, was paid more than $50,000 to quit the team and even stop in-person attendance at the school after he leveled accusations against several players.
“They bought him off. That’s what they did,” the player’s father, Jamie Humphrey, told the paper. “They bought him off to keep his mouth shut.”
Humphrey originally joined the team in 2017 as a walk-on player without any football scholarship. He played in seven games that season and so impressed the coaches that he even started in a game. Indeed, Humphrey so wowed his coaches that they afforded him a scholarship for the 2018 season. He played all 12 games and was even selected for the team’s leadership council in his sophomore year.
But in 2019, coach Les Miles was brought on, and things began to sour for Humphrey.
According to the Star, Humphrey got in an altercation with at least one other player who lived in the same complex. Things soon began spinning out of control as the player reportedly began to enlist the help of his friends in harassing Humphrey.
Humphrey says that he found that the lug nuts on his car had been loosened so that his tire nearly fell off at high speed.
“If I was going down the highway in Kansas City or something, that’s potentially … my tire pops off, who knows what happens with the control of the car?” Caperton said. “That’s a life-threatening situation.”
The harassment became so vehement that at one point, a group of several players and their friends allegedly flooded into his apartment and physically threatened Humphrey. Humphrey’s family and his ex-girlfriend claim they witnessed threats in the apartment, and the crowd of players was so raucous that the police were called to restore order.
Throughout the campaign of harassment, Humphrey says that he had informed the coaching staff and coach Miles several times. The only solution Miles offered was that Humphrey and his harassers should settle their differences on the field in practice.
Humphrey also asked the school to intervene and alerted officials that some of the players were selling drugs out of their apartments.
However, instead of investigating the incidents and punishing the attackers, the school allegedly drew up a contract to give Humphrey a big payoff. They further demanded that he sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent him and his family from talking about the payoff. As part of the agreement, the school insisted that he attend class online from his family home in West Virginia instead of attending class in Kansas.
The Star has far more details in its expose, but one Big 12 compliance officer the paper spoke to said that the agreement Humphrey was asked to sign was unusual and that in his 20 years in the business, he had never seen anything like it.
“What would have given me pause about that is, I don’t see a non-disparagement agreement as an athletic matter. That, to me, would be more of a legal matter which somebody out of the university attorney’s office should be handling,” he told the paper.
Humphrey now says that the entire incident has ruined his dreams of playing for the NFL. After missing 2020 because of the coronavirus and essentially being summarily removed from school, he is suffering depression and other issues.
“It cost me everything,” the former player told the paper.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.