Former GFU Football Player Files $70 Million Lawsuit

In 2015, Samuel Wani injured his thumb during football practice at George Fox University (GFU). While he practiced for only two weeks and attended classes for less than one week, it was not until June 2017, according to the Newberg Graphic, that he filed several claims against GFU without an attorney. 

The Newberg Graphic noted that these claims include charges of cyber bullying, racial verbal harassment, negligence, refusal of treatment, medical fraud, racial discrimination, HIPAA violations, and breach of contract.”

Wani reports that after injuring his thumb on Aug. 20, 2015, he did not receive sufficient treatment from the GFU football team and was denied treatment three times, stat-
ing to the Newberg Graphic that he then promptly went to Newberg Providence Medical Center to have an x-ray taken. The results showed “a fracture and major swelling of the metacarpophalangeal (MP) joint in his thumb.”

Wani also claims that after his football season had ended due to his injury, he was targeted by a teammate in a cyberbullying incident on Instagram. While not in a place to make comments about the pending lawsuit, GFU officials have released several media statements covering most of the allegations since the lawsuit has been filed. GFU states, “As the suit has just been filed and the university is still collecting information, the university is not in a position to comment generally on Mr. Wani’s allegations or the pending litigation. University Student Life staff, athletic department staff, coaches and medical providers spent extensive time with Mr. Wani during his short attendance attempting to understand and address his concerns.”

“He voluntarily left the team and withdrew from the university despite the university’s encouragement that he stay.” 

It was several months after he left GFU that Wani had surgery on his thumb correcting the injury and receiving a cast, during which he was in contact with the university requesting multiple times that they pay for the costs of his treatment. 

The lawsuit goes on to accuse several GFU staff members as well as staff from Newberg Providence Medical Center of falsifying medical records, saying that they covered up his injury so that they would not have to pay for it.

In their second statement GFU said, “The university’s medical insurance provides coverage after a student’s primary medical insurance is exhausted... the university has made efforts to help Mr. Wani with his insurance claims.”

The Newberg Graphic states that “Wani is seeking more than $70 million in damages, including $40 million plus medical expenses from George Fox, claiming ‘this is the amount of money I would be making in a six to eight-year NFL career as a defensive end or linebacker.'”

GFU states in their second official media release, “Until this lawsuit, university staff believed they had adequately addressed Mr. Wani’s concerns ... we certainly wish Mr. Wani the best in his academic and athletic endeavors.

“The university condemns all forms of cyberbullying and racial discrimination, which have no place in the George Fox community,” the statement reads.

More information regarding the case will be released as the lawsuit continues under investigation; however, GFU has only released two statements to -date. For up-to-date coverage, see The Newberg Graphic online at

Reported by Jacks Whitehurst
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