Ex-Vol Maggitt's lawyer says client never punched teammate

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The attorney for former Tennessee football player Curt Maggitt says his client never punched ex-teammate Drae Bowles, denying an allegation made in a lawsuit that has been filed against the university.

An amended complaint filed Wednesday said that Bowles assisted a woman who said she had been raped by two other players, and that Maggitt later punched him in the mouth. A signed declaration from Bowles stated the allegations in the suit ''are true with respect to the statements and descriptions of events pertaining to me.''

Jeff Hagood said via text message Saturday that ''if, in fact, Mr. Bowles has sworn that my client, Curt Maggitt punched him at any time ... that is simply a false statement.''

David Randolph Smith, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, responded by pointing out that the amended complaint states that Maggitt acknowledged to police that he assaulted Bowles. Smith also noted the amended complaint included the signed declaration from Bowles.

Maggitt, a defensive end/linebacker, spoke to reporters Saturday at the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis but referred questions about the specifics of the lawsuit to his attorney.

The federal lawsuit, filed Feb. 9 in Nashville, alleges that Tennessee has violated Title IX regulations and created a ''hostile sexual environment'' through a policy of indifference toward assaults by athletes. Eight unidentified women are listed as plaintiffs.

The amended complaint says a woman called 911 from former Volunteer Bowles' car to report a rape in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2014. The complaint also states that Bowles suffered a bloody lip when Maggitt punched him in the mouth later that day and that he was confronted by teammates Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane the following day.

Bowles called Tennessee coach Butch Jones to tell him about being punched, and Jones said he was very disappointed in Bowles and that the receiver had ''betrayed the team,'' according to the complaint. The complaint states Jones called Bowles several hours later to apologize for his comments.

Jones issued a statement Wednesday night saying he only tried to assist Bowles and that he ''will fight all of these false attacks on my character.''

The woman's report led to the February 2015 indictments of former linebacker A.J. Johnson and defensive back Michael Williams, who have separate trial dates this summer.

Bowles transferred to Chattanooga after the 2014 season.