The son of a former Dallas Cowboys star is suing his university after alleging that a hazing ritual left him with permanent brain damage. Blake Novacek, son of the former Cowboys tight-end, Jay Novacek, claimed to have attended various hazing events at the University of Oklahoma which left him with severe brain damage.
Novacek had been pledging himself to the Gamma Phi chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity in autumn 2015. His lawyer, Christopher Cooke said: "Frankly, Blake's parents sent him off as a happy, healthy, well-adjusted boy and he came back a basket case."
According to court documents, Novacek had been invited into the room of Shane Musselman on the night of the 11 October 2015, reported ABC Philadelphia.
He had been instructed to recite facts and information about the fraternity but when he made a mistake, Novacek was hit with a baseball bat in the stomach, which made him "fall backwards and strike his head on a hard object, knocking [him] unconscious."
Cooke then explained that his client woke up ten hours after the incident lying on a sofa with his clothes washed, dried and folded next to him. He was allegedly warned by defendant Gavin Martindale to "keep his mouth shut" about the hazing incident.
Meanwhile, Musselman has denied the allegations, and said in statement that they are "completely false, and I have no idea why they are being made."
Novacek was diagnosed with a brain injury, bipolar and postconcussive syndrome and is under regular medical care. The fraternity has also vigorously refuted the claims and described them as "false and inflammatory."
The university said that it would be investigating the incident but was unable to comment during the legal proceedings.