Judge Hears Dismissal Arguments In UVA Hazing Lawsuit

A federal judge heard arguments from both sides of the University of Virginia hazing case Monday as the five former UVA swimmers sought to have the case dismissed.

Former Virginia freshman Anthony Marcantonio filed a civil suit earlier this year against five of his former teammates: Kyle Dudzinski, Luke Papendick, Charles Rommel, David Ingraham and Jacob Pearce. Marcantonio alleged that the upperclassmen hazed and mistreated him in 2014. You can read the full report on the 10 count lawsuit here.

In September, the five defendants filed a response to the case, asking that it be dismissed from federal court on the grounds that Marcantonio hadn’t provided sufficient evidence to support his allegations.

On Monday, a federal judge heard the dismissal arguments from both sides, per NBC29.com. According to that report:

Anthony Marcantonio’s claims that hazing has left him with nightmares and therapy. They say the vile and shocking details prove their point but the defense says Marcantonio failed to provide enough facts to support his claims.

The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, VA analyzes the case a bit further here, noting that a major facet of the case revolves around whether Marcantonio consented to the alleged hazing by remaining in the house where the hazing allegedly took place instead of leaving.

None of the 6 former Cavaliers involved in the suit are still on the UVA roster. Marcantonio has since transferred to Northwestern, Dudzinski and Papendick transferred to Michigan, and Rommel, Ingraham and Pearce have wrapped up their NCAA eligibility.

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Joel Lin

I understand that SwimSwam is in a position to cover this as news content in the sport of swimming. I also understand the coverage of the matter by the Daily Progress as local news in a university town. That said, I find it disappointing that this frivolous lawsuit gets afforded yet another sip from the chalice of “fifteen minutes of fame”…which is likely all that the attorney John Markham goes in it for beyond his hourly fees. This is just a malicious lawsuit designed only to be an instrument to garner a social media conviction. It comes to easy these days to hand out pitchforks and torches and let the faceless hoardes met their catchphrase judgment. See Phi Psi UVA… Read more »

Mark Reading

“This is just a malicious lawsuit designed only to be an instrument to garner a social media conviction.” Except that it isn’t. The swimmer being hazed did not have the choice to leave, hence the false imprisonment accusation.You’re sympathetic to the “stress, anxiety, social duress and permanent reputation all harms to the six defendants”, why none for someone who was held against their will, forced into unwanted sexual contact and forced to drink excessively? I’m sure you’ve noticed that UVA determined the five swimmers named in the suit violated their policies, and suspended their access to competition. All five have since separated from the university.

Carson Wilcox

Joel, Your comments are plain wrong. Let’s analyze what you’ve written. “This is just a malicious lawsuit designed only to be an instrument to garner a social media conviction.” Nope. The incident in the lawsuit had enough merit for UVA to sanction the plaintiffs, who have since left the school. “The claims he was compelled to stay at the party are invalid.” No, they are not. Other swimmers who were hazed in the swim house indicated they were not allowed to leave. “Lastly, it is well settled that the courts do not have jurisdiction over these matters between independent civil matters” Everyday courts rule on contracts and interaction between independent parties. “I cannot imagine the stress, anxiety, social duress and… Read more »


Joel, I like your analysis, but I think the suit survives the motion to dismiss. If the case is dismissed from Federal court, can’t the Plaintiff re-file in state court? Also, I am not sure this is a social media lynching because the respondents were able, with relative ease, to transfer to other good programs. The other programs undoubtedly knew why the swimmers wanted / needed to transfer, and took them anyway. Mr. Markham will not be sanctioned if he filed the case in what he thought was good faith. Mark, UVA had to kick the kids off of the team to save their proverbial behind. If they hadn’t they would have been sued as well. Now, the real issue… Read more »


Except the 5 were not kicked off th team and did not have to transfer. In fact, 2 of the 5 competed the following semester, including at ACC championships. Another one was still listed on the team, but from what I understand was unable to compete due to injury. Not sure about the other 2. The university found no grounds to go further with these claims or else all 5 would have been thrown out of school based on the university’s honor code.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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