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The University has settled with the family of former football player Jackson Boyer — said to have suffered a concussion in an incident during preseason camp in 2014 — according to media reports.
The News & Observer, which obtained a copy of the settlement, said UNC paid $795,000 for injury claims, damages, attorney fees and litigation expenses.
In August 2014, Yahoo Sports and other media outlets reported that UNC was investigating reports that Boyer, a sophomore who had red-shirted with the team his freshman year, sustained a concussion in an incident involving multiple teammates at a Chapel Hill hotel where the team was staying during preseason camp. The N&O identified the hotel as Aloft.
Initial reports said the incident may have involved hazing. The athletics department and the Office of Student Affairs acknowledged that they were investigating an incident involving members of the football team. Neither used the word “hazing.”
In its report this week, The N&O quoted from the settlement that UNC had agreed to “continue its good faith, best efforts towards developing healthy team cultures, taking into account the recommendations of the university’s current working group tasked with addressing student issues involving hazing and bullying.” The paper also reported that the parties involved in the settlement had agreed not to disclose the terms of the agreement or to talk publicly about the case.
On the same day in 2014 that the media reported that UNC was investigating, Coach Larry Fedora suspended four defensive backfield players from the first game of the season for violating unspecified team rules. The players were now-rising seniors Desmond Lawrence, Donnie Miles and M.J. Stewart and Brian Walker. Lawrence, Miles and Stewart are still on the team’s roster; Walker is not.
The N&O reported that campus police did not investigate the incident because it was outside its jurisdiction and that the Chapel Hill Police Department found out about it several days after it allegedly occurred and did not investigate in the absence of a complaint from Boyer or his family.
Boyer, who is from Chapel Hill, left the University and is currently listed on the football roster at the University of Southern California.