The last thing a team churning toward a date with the BcS crystal needs is an off-field distraction.
Would this qualify? Probably not, but it’s safe to say head coach Nick Saban isn’t pleased with the timing of this development.
According to the Birmingham News, senior H-back Kelly Johnson and his fraternity have been named as part of a personal injury lawsuit filed in federal court in Birmingham last Friday. The amount of damages being sought was not detailed.
The suit claims that the alleged victim, Logan Herring, was involved in an incident at Johnson’s residence in September of 2010 that resulted in Herring suffering “a concussion and brain injury, memory loss, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.”
The incident occurred at what was described as a pledge event at Johnson’s home that was, oddly enough, serving alcohol to underage individuals.
The suit claims that, after Herring had puked all over a couch in Johnson’s residence, Herring was assaulted by Johnson in a bathroom, where the football player allegedly punched and kicked the alleged victim in the head to the point of unconsciousness. For good measure, it’s alleged that Johnson gave Herring’s head a goodbye slam into a wall on his way out of the home.
As for why the frat is involved in the civil action, the News writes that “[t]he suit also alleges that members of the fraternity were aware that Johnson had assaulted another student at least once, including at least one other pledge.”
Johnson, who has played in all four of the No. 1 Tide’s games this season and started one, was not criminally charged for the events that led to the lawsuit.
The paper notes that Johnson was seen on the practice field Tuesday, preparing for this weekend’s game against Ole Miss.