Former SMU Football Player Sues School Over Switch to Online Classes

    • Southern Methodist University switched to online classes in the spring of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 12, alleges SMU was in breach of contract, and seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages.

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A former Southern Methodist University football player is suing the school for not reimbursing student tuition for the pandemic-forced shift to online classes in Spring 2020, according to a lawsuit filed in Dallas County district court.

Luke Hogan, a graduate student who was a kicker on SMU’s football team last season, is the only named plaintiff in the lawsuit that seeks class-action status.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 12, alleges SMU was in breach of contract, and seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages.

“Defendants were unable to provide in-person educational experiences, services,, and opportunities for approximately 59% of the Spring 2020 semester,” the lawsuit alleges. “Prior to the suspension of in-person classes for the Spring 2020 semester, Plaintiff Luke Hogan attended campus events and was involved in student activities and/or clubs.

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“As a result of Defendants’ closure, Defendants have not complied with their obligation to provide in-person educational services along with other experiences, opportunities, and services Plaintiff and the Class paid for.”

Hogan has a year left of eligibility, but was not listed on SMU’s active roster on the athletics website.

SMU, a member of the American Athletic Conference, is slated to play a 12-game regular season in 2020.

Hogan’s lawyers and SMU did not immediately respond to inquiries about the lawsuit.

Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV was the first outlet to report on the lawsuit.