Former Liberty football player Cameron Jackson’s lawsuit will move forward, a federal judge in Lynchburg has ruled.
Jackson, who was dismissed by the university in 2016, filed suit in April 2017 against Liberty, five employees, and a former Liberty student athlete. His case against Liberty, Len Stevens (Liberty’s Executive Director of External Communications), and the former student athlete will continue, all remaining cases and defendants have been dismissed from the lawsuit. The case is scheduled to go to trial in 2018.
“The Complaint alleged 18 causes of action against all the defendants, 14 of which were brought against Liberty University or its employees,” David Corry, General Counsel for Liberty said. “Liberty is pleased with the court’s decision to dismiss all but one of the claims it asked to be dismissed. Liberty maintains that its disciplinary process is fair, objective, and thorough and it is confident that the remaining claims will also be rejected by the court, in time.”
The case is scheduled for a jury trial in late July 2018, but there will be a “period of discovery” over the next several months. This period will allow each side to gather additional information, and, could, ask the court to grant a summary judgement. The summary judgement process allows the court to declare a winner without a trial, based solely on facts that are not in dispute. If the court does not grant summary judgement, the case will proceed to the jury trial. Corry states that Liberty is confident the case will not move to trial.
“Liberty’s policies allow a student who has been removed from the university to petition for good standing one year his removal from the university,” Jackson’s attorney, Josh Farmer, told ASeaofRed.com. “This is basically a mechanism to allow the school to reconsider the punishment and make changes as may be appropriate. Liberty allowed Cam to petition for good standing in July, rather than waiting the full year, and his application for good standing has been approved. This means that the sexual assault notation on his transcript will be permanently removed, and he is free to apply for readmission to LU, if he desires.”
Farmer also stated, “Cam desperately wants to continue his college education, and, if possible, his football career. He’s currently weighing all options available to him, including a return to the Flames.”
While Jackson could apply for re-admission, it doesn’t necessarily mean he would be accepted. “Federal law does not permit Liberty to answer your question regarding Cameron Jackson’s specific situation,” Corry stated. “The Virginia law that requires a transcript notation also provides a procedure for its removal when the one petitioning can demonstrate all sanctions have been completed. Students wishing to reapply to Liberty go through a different process. While returning to good standing is a prerequisite for re-admission, re-admission is a separate process with more stringent criteria. Similarly, while readmission is a prerequisite to playing intercollegiate athletics, returning to a team roster is a separate process with its own criteria.”
Jackson joined the Liberty football team prior to the 2014 season. He is originally from Houston, Texas.