Plaintiffs in Tennessee suit want to keep Manning reference

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) On the day Peyton Manning announced his NFL retirement, plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the University of Tennessee filed a response arguing a reference to the quarterback shouldn't be removed from their complaint.

The lawsuit states Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a ''hostile sexual environment'' through a policy of indifference toward assaults by athletes. The suit focuses on cases reported between 2013 and 2015. But one paragraph mentions a sexual harassment complaint made by a Tennessee trainer in 1996 that included Manning, then the Volunteers quarterback.

The school has moved to strike the reference because of its ''utter lack of relevance'' to the lawsuit. In the response filed Monday, plaintiffs said it's ''entirely relevant'' to show the existence of a ''hostile and discriminatory sexual environment.''

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