You can file a lawsuit about anything. But, that does not mean you should. Yet, it appears a former TCU football player has done just that. Kolby Listenbee, a talented receiver for the TCU football team from 2012 to 2015, has filed suit against Texas Christian University for supposedly pressuring him to play while he was hurt. Mr. Listenbee says Coach Gary Patterson bullied him into playing while he was hurt. Many former TCU players have come to the defense of Coach Patterson, insisting they also played hurt but did not feel forced. See Ft. Worth Star Telegram column by Mac Engel.
Coach Patterson indicates he feels a little hurt by the lawsuit. But, he cannot discuss the lawsuit in any detail. See Star Telegram report. He insists it has always been about the 40 years after graduation, not the 4 years in college. Mr. Listenbee says the coaches forced him to play before he was fully healed. See Ft Worth Star Telegram report. He said his problem was with some coaches, not all of them.
As Mr. Engel explains, this is really a lawsuit against football itself. All football coaches bully to some degree. But, in the world of lawsuits and courts, Mr. Listenbee will have to show someone pointed a gun at his head and made him don his pads. Otherwise, no. Subtle or even not-so-subtle pressure does not count as “forced” to play. If that were true, there would be millions of lawsuits literally overnight against football coaches across the country. In fact, now that I think about it, I have this trick thumb I got when a coach “forced” me to play little league baseball when I was 12…….