Haverford College Senior Sues School Over What He Says Was a False Rape Rumor

Plus: Opera Philadelphia performs "Fly Eagles Fly."

a sign at Haverford College, the prestigious Main Line school that is the defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by a senior who says he was the victim of a false rumor that he raped another student

A sign at Haverford College, the prestigious Main Line school being sued by a senior who says he was the subject of a false rape rumor (Getty Images)

Check each morning for the latest edition of Philly Today. And if you have a news tip for our hardworking Philly Mag reporters, please send it here.

Haverford College Sued By Senior Who Says He Was the Target of a False Rape Rumor

A senior at the Main Line’s prestigious Haverford College is suing the school after he says he was the target of a false rape rumor on campus.

The student, who has filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia’s federal court under the pseudonym John Doe, says his problems at Haverford College began in February 2022, when he was a junior. According to the lawsuit, that is when a “false and vicious rumor” began to circulate on campus that he had raped a female student. He claims he never had any physical contact with the student in question.

The rumor spread on social media among students and in the tight-knit group of players on one of Haverford College’s varsity sports teams, where the accused was co-captain. He alleges that other players on the team, including another co-captain, took the rumor to the coach in an effort to get him kicked off of the team. The other captains of the team soon confronted him directly with the accusation but, says the suit, “They provided no specificity whatsoever with regard to the identity of the purported victim, the date, the timeframe, the place, the context, or any other detail” about the alleged assault, which he denied to them. The players later told him in writing that they didn’t want him on the team.

He went to the coach, who explained that he was a mandatory Title IX reporter, i.e. somebody required by the college to report any allegations of sexual misconduct. And he says the coach told him to step away from the team until the college completed a Title IX investigation, which he did.

A couple of weeks went by, and he heard nothing, so he reached out to Haverford College’s Title IX coordinator. According to the suit, the Title IX coordinator told him that the coach had reported the allegation but that the office had no actual complaint against him — no victim or witness claiming he did what the rumor said he did. The suit alleges that the Title IX coordinator “explicitly advised” him that she hadn’t seen anything that would warrant a formal investigation and that the college “had no basis to impose any sanctions” against him, that he was, in the words of the suit, “a student in good standing.”

The student says he went back to the coach to rejoin the team but that the coach wouldn’t let him. So he demanded a meeting with the Title IX coordinator, the director of athletics for Haverford College, an associate dean, the team’s coach, and all of the co-captains. At that meeting, the suit claims, the Title IX coordinator told everyone in attendance that there was neither a complaint nor an investigation against him. Despite this, the coach and the co-captains wouldn’t let him back on the team.

He claims the decision to keep him off of the team essentially amounted to a substantiation of the rumor, because students viewed it as a punishment for something he did wrong. But he continues to insist that he has done nothing wrong and that the school administration has done nothing to help him. (The suit alleges that the school reached out to the rumored victim and that she denied anything happened between them.)

“I went from being a respected leader on a team that I have been a part of ever since my first semester on campus to a persona non grata amongst my teammates,” he wrote in a letter to administrators. “I have been unable to practice or participate. And I have been menaced by coaching staff, teammates, and individuals on campus.”

His father and grandmother also attempted to intervene on his behalf — he is a fifth generation Haverford College student whose family has been studying there since the Civil War — but to no avail.

He is suing the school for, among other things, failure to follow Title IX protocols, defamation, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for Haverford College told Philly Mag that the school does not comment on pending litigation.

This Guy Again?

Doug Mastriano wants to ban drag queens from performing in public spaces. Because of course he does.

This Can’t Be Good

A gang from Philly is accused of stealing more than 100 guns from local gun stores, and while some of the guns have been recovered, many have not. Thirteen people have been arrested in connection with the thefts.

Your Water May Soon Cost You More

Like everybody else, the Philadelphia Water Department wants to charge you more money. And it sounds like they are going to get what they want.

You’ve Heard Of the Boy in the Box

But what about the hundreds of dead people the city has yet to identify?

On a Decidedly Lighter Note

Watch Opera Philadelphia perform “Fly Eagles Fly” last night at rehearsal for Carmina Burana:

(And be sure to go see them perform Carmina Burana live at the Academy of Music in February. More info here.)

And from the High-Anxiety Sports Desk …

The easy stuff first: Guess who’s up for NFL MVP?

Ben Simmons alert! The Sixers went up against the Nets.

Tell us how you really feel, Philly:

And don’t ever change!


Embiid was in despite rumors his foot still hurt. Anthony Melton had the hot hand in the first quarter.

And at the meridian?

That’s about where it stayed through the third:

In the fourth, the Sixers let the Nets crawl back to a tie more than once before Harden heated up and hit a couple of threes.

Simmons, of course — that defensive specialist — was no longer in the game.

Maxey hit a huge three.

That, granted, was instantly nullifed by one from Kyrie Irving. With a minute-plus left, the Sixers were up four but turned it over on a crappy-ass pass. Embiid hit a couple of foul shots to put the Sixers up four. Irving for a layup. Final 30 seconds! Harden hit a layup. Up four again! Watanabe hit a layup out of a timeout. With the Sixers up two, Melton was fouled and hit both shots. Up four again, with 12 seconds left! “Foul shots have been massive tonight,” Kate Scott says. That’s where it stayed, as the Sixers pulled it out.

In college hoops, Temple was coming off its big win over number one Houston on Sunday to play South Florida at home.

The game went to overtime, but the Owls hung tough:

Concurrently, St. Joe’s was at George Washington.

This one went to overtime, too!

The Hawks couldn’t quite get it done, though.

Tonight, the Drexel Dragons go up against NC A&T at seven.

The Flyers also play.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.