A federal judge has ruled a reference to Peyton Manning will remain in a Title IX lawsuit filed against Tennessee.
Eight women filed a lawsuit against the school in February, accusing the university of enabling sexual assault through its campus culture, especially by favoring athletes. Manning, who starred for the Volunteers before his NFL career, was referenced in a paragraph about a sexual harassment complaint made against him in 1996.
Tennessee lawyers sought to have the Manning reference removed from the lawsuit because of an “utter lack of relevance” to the case.
U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger also ruled the case will not be moved from Nashville to Knoxville.
The lawsuit claims Tennessee violated Title IX laws—which are meant to protect students from gender discrimination—in its handling of sex assault cases. The plaintiffs allege Tennessee showed “deliberate indifference and a clearly unreasonable response after a sexual assault that causes a student to endure additional harassment.”
Tennessee is already the subject of two Title IX investigations initiated by the federal government after complaints against the school in June and July of last year.