A former TCU football player is suing the university, the head football coach and the Big 12 on claims that he was overmedicated and pressured to play after being injured.
In the lawsuit, Kolby Listenbee claims all of his problems began with the injury he suffered during a game against SMU in 2015. He says his health after that was continuously put in jeopardy.
The former player claims the actions of TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson, other coaches and medical staff essentially prevented him from ever having a pro career. His attorney says Listenbee thinks the coaching staff put winning ahead of player safety.
Listenbee was injured in the September 19, 2015, game against SMU and says he was then forced to return to the field too soon. He claims he was later given steroid injections by team physicians to mask the pain.
"The standard of care for his is rest and you just basically have to let the tissue recover,” said his attorney, Derek Potts. “Unfortunately, that did not happen for a variety of reasons that should not have occurred."
Team doctors concluded the cartilage between his pelvic bones was inflamed and damaged. In the lawsuit, Listenbee claims Coach Patterson and other coaches told him "to get back out on the field." And when he refused, “Patterson was visibly upset by Kolby's decision."
"He was threatened, he was harassed, he was screamed at, he was cussed at, he was told he was a weakling, and he had to get up and back on the field,” Potts said.
The lawsuit also alleges the team physicians gave Listenbee multiple injections in his hip so he could keep playing. According to the lawsuit, "the corticosteroids were deteriorating Kolby's cartilage, muscles, and the entire infrastructure of his pelvis.” He eventually had a metal plate implanted in his hip. Listenbee returned to the field just a few weeks later, but his performance suffered.
TCU issued a brief statement, saying “TCU takes tremendous pride in its long-standing tradition of excellence in providing a positive experience for its student-athletes, especially in the areas of care, prevention and rehabilitation of athletic injuries."
Listenbee was drafted in 2016 by the Buffalo Bills but never played in an NFL game. His attorney says his professional career on the field is over.