Athlete’s Civil Rights Suit Against Mississippi University in Jeopardy

HATTIESBURG, Ms. — The University of Southern Mississippi wants to dismiss a civil rights lawsuit filed by a former football player.

Deven Hammond of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sued in federal court there in November, saying he was barred from the football team after coaches learned he had only one kidney.

He also says USM violated his privacy rights when someone discussed his condition with a Middle Tennessee State University coach.

The Hattiesburg American reports that USM says the Louisiana court lacks jurisdiction.

University lawyers say Hammond’s claims are barred by the 11th Amendment, which says a person in one state can’t sue another person in another state. USM also says Mississippi law makes it immune from suit.

Hammond’s attorney, William Most, says he believes the case will proceed.