Report: Miss. State added to lawsuit

BY foxsports • April 5, 2011

A former Mississippi State University student wants to add the school to his lawsuit against the Southeastern Conference and a fellow MSU student, who allegedly assaulted him with a cowbell during a football game in 2009, The Clarion-Ledger reported Tuesday.

William Matthew Brasher is already suing the SEC for the conference's "knowing refusal," to enforce rules regarding the banned use of artificial noisemakers at games.

Brasher alleges fellow MSU student Brent Vowell assaulted him with a cowbell during a game against rival school Mississippi in Nov., 2009.

The SEC deflected the claims in February, saying it "had an administrative regulation regarding artificial noisemakers, the enforcement of which being the responsibility of the host institution."

According to The Clarion-Ledger, Brasher's attorney, Doug Foster, filed a motion in February to add the security company employed by MSU during its games, and is now seeking to add Mississippi State and its president Mark Keenum to the growing list of defendants.

Artificial noisemakers, including cowbells -- a tradition at MSU football games dating back to the 1930s -- were banned by the SEC in 1974. The conference lifted the ban under new guidelines in June 2010.

Brasher, who claims the assault resulted in a four-inch laceration exposing his skull, also suffered "a concussion, memory loss, mental and emotional distress and anguish, depression, paranoia, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life and inability to pursue prior educational and professional goals," according to the suit filed in November 2010.

The SEC scrapped the 36-year ban on fans ringing cowbells, agreeing that the noisemakers could be used by fans before and after games, at halftime, during timeouts and following a score. But in October, the SEC notified MSU that its fans had violated the conference's new rules on the use of cowbells during football games.

A court date in late April is set for Vowell's trial on assault charges, according The Ledger.

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