Daisy Tackett was on the rowing team at the University of Kansas in 2014 when she reported that she was raped in Jayhawk Towers by a KU football player. The lawsuit alleges that Daisy Tackett should be compensated for harms she suffered as a result of a hostile educational environment created by KU in violation of Title IX.
Tackett's father, James Tackett, announced his daughter's lawsuit at a news conference on Monday. Daisy Tackett withdrew from KU in January 2016 and moved back to Florida. Even though she was not at the news conference, her father read her statement:
"I reported my rape because I thought other KU students were at risk. I did not know that KU would treat me the way it did. I did not feel safe after my report. My coaches did not care. I felt like I did every single thing KU asked of me, and I feel that they did not hold up to their end of the bargain. KU did not protect me. And I was not able to be a student or an athlete there. I hope the KU community understands why I had to do this. KU cannot be allowed to operate under the status quo. Kansas has a rich history of standing up for what is right. It's why we are Jayhawks. This is my contribution to that proud tradition and I hope Kansans and Jayhawks will stand with me."
James Tackett explained that Daisy Tackett was harassed by other KU football players and by her suspected attacker, known only as John Doe G.
"I am filled with righteous anger and I wish I could name this person; but he knows who he is, his parents know who he his, his coach knows who he is and if he was a man, he would stand up. He would ask for forgiveness. He would apologize which he has not done and he would face the consequences," said James Tackett.
The KU football player suspected in the rape was eventually expelled from school, but Daisy Tackett's father called it too little too late.
There are two lawsuits - one from Daisy Tackett claiming title IX violations by KU. Title IX requires that no person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Daisy Tackett claims that the rowing coach, Rob Catloth, made ongoing racial remarks about the weight of some female athletes, calling some of the women "fat." She also said that Catloth did not allow her to attend a team training event in Florida.
The lawsuit also alleges that the university refused to ban the offending KU football player from campus during the investigation and that the player and some of his teammates harassed Daisy Tackett.
In response, KU News Director Erinn Barcomb-Peterson issued the following statement on behalf of the university:
"The University of Kansas does not comment on individual sexual assault investigations. As we said in response to the Tackett's first lawsuit earlier this month, any suggestion that we do not support those who report sexual assault on our campuses is baseless."
Daisy Tackett's parents filed a lawsuit against KU under the Consumer Protection Act. The Tacketts are claiming that KU advertised and marketed dorms and campuses as safe, which they believe is misrepresenting the truth.
Cynthia Newsome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.