Connect with us


Regarding the civil lawsuit, Huntington University issued a statement on Sunday morning



Huntington, Indiana – On Sunday morning, Huntington University’s director of communications, Lynette Fager, issued a statement addressing a civil lawsuit. The university was sued by two former athletes for failing to uphold their Title XI rights and failing to shield them from a predatory coach.

In the case, Nick Johnson, a former coach for the women’s cross country and track teams, is charged with unlawfully touching, controlling, sexually assaulting, and drugging female athletes. According to the university, Johnson was fired in December 2020 as a result of various charges.

Two additional coaches, Curtis Hines and Lauren Johnson (Nick’s wife), were placed on administrative leave on October 6 and will no longer be associated with the women’s running program, according to the statement.

The university has also requested that an outside review team visit and perform an impartial assessment of the university’s sexual misconduct procedures.

“For 125 years, Huntington University has strived to carry out Christ’s mission in higher education. Therefore, we were devastated and heartbroken when University leadership were made aware of the allegations included in a civil lawsuit filed on September 30, 2022, against three now formerly affiliated University employees, as well as against the University, and Board of Trustees. Following this discovery, many have voiced concern, and we want you to know that we hear you. These allegations are not only disturbing but also antithetical to everything we stand for, ” Fager said.

Nicholas Johnson, according to Fager, served as the lead women’s running coach from 2018 to 2020. Johnson’s employment was terminated in December 2020 as a result of 2020 allegations. On October 6, 2022, administrative leave was given to the two other coaches who were identified in the lawsuit. As a result, they are no longer connected to the university’s women’s running program. These two coaches are Lauren Johnson and Curtis Hines. Nicholas Johnson was also kicked out of the university’s hall of fame.

“Following Nicholas Johnson’s termination in 2020, several additional policies, procedures, and personnel were added to our operations to provide additional oversight such as an Athletic Ombudsperson Policy, refined travel policies, treatment policies, and facility usage policies, to name a few,” Fager said.

“The University has now engaged an external review team to provide an independent review of the University’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policies and procedures and to provide recommendations regarding changes the University should consider implementing based on legal compliance and/or best practices. Katherine Nash of Lathrop GPM will be leading the review. Nash and her team have extensive experience advising institutions in the areas of Title IX and sexual misconduct. The review will also examine the supportive measures used to protect all students, and to promote a culture of trust, integrity, and safety. University leadership and the board of trustees have pledged their full cooperation,” Fager said.

“As a university, we remain committed to the well-being of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. And moreover, we desire to exemplify moral and spiritual integrity as we call upon Christ’s redemptive work in our lives. We grieve for the pain and loss these two former students are expressing. We pray for full healing and restoration in their lives and the lives of everyone impacted. We will work as a University community toward forgiveness and reconciliation in this matter,” Fager said.