Syracuse Running Back LeQuint Allen Jr. Sues School, Says He Was Suspended for “Self-Defense”

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2023 at 10:04 pm by Sports Editor

By Jish Sokolsky | and Luke Radel |

A rising sophomore running back facing a two-semester suspension by university officials is suing the school, according to documents filed in Onondaga County State Supreme Court on Monday. 

CitrusTV has independently confirmed that the petitioner, who used the pseudonym “John Doe” in court filings, is Syracuse star running back LeQuint Allen Jr. Allen’s lawsuit was first reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard

The suspension followed a December 11th incident in which then-freshman Allen got into a physical altercation near a south campus apartment. 

In a sworn affidavit to the court, Allen says he attended a party at the University Village apartments on December 10, 2022. Sometime after midnight the following morning, Allen says he was approached and accosted by another SU student.

The other student allegedly punched Allen in the face twice, giving him a nose bleed.

“Before [he] could hit me a third time, I struck [him] in the face with a closed fist,” Allen said.

The other student is not identified in court documents.

Allen maintained, both to university investigators and in the affidavit, Monday, that he acted in self-defense during the incident. 

Two months later, in February of this year, an investigator at the school’s Office of Community Standards informed Allen he’d been charged with violating the University’s Code of Conduct.

After meeting with the investigator, Allen was told he’d receive a two-semester suspension because of the physical altercation. 

University officials could not be reached for comment on this story.

A 21-page petition filed with the court by Allen’s attorney Melissa Schwartz argues the decision to suspend him “was part of a deeply flawed administrative process” and that it effectively acts as an expulsion because it puts Allen in violation of his full-ride athletic scholarship. Without the aid package, Allen can’t afford the over $80,000 total cost of attendance at SU.

Just two weeks after that fateful night in December, Syracuse fans caught a glimpse of what a LeQuint Allen led rushing attack might look like in the Pinstripe Bowl. With starter Sean Tucker opting out, the freshman tallied a career high 15 carries for 94 yards on the ground and added 60 yards through the air. His 11 receptions were the most by any Syracuse player in a bowl game.

If the star running back’s lawsuit for reinstatement falls unsuccessful, the waters for the 2023 Syracuse football season become murkier. The Orange recently lost Sean Tucker to the NFL after he accounted for almost 60% of the team’s rushing yards in 2022. The heir apparent to the backfield showed flashes in his rookie campaign, finishing the year with 391 all purpose yards. The running back picked up the ACC Rookie of the Week honor after throwing for and receiving a touchdown in a loss to Wake Forest. 

Outside of Allen, the Syracuse running back room consists of five other backs. Only one of whom (redshirt junior Juwan Price) has in-game reps at tailback at the collegiate level. The suspension of Allen (if upheld by the court) would more than likely put the weight of the running game on quarterback Garrett Shrader. The dual threat’s 453 yards on the ground were the second most on the team in 2022, but took a toll on his body. Shrader dealt with ankle injuries that limited his availability last season.  

Since the news of the lawsuit broke Monday night, the SU football community has shown support on social media for its star. The campaign, emblemized by the hashtag #LetLequintPlay, started Tuesday morning. From offering defense of Allen’s character to online activism, the tag has connected those honed in on the cause.

Former Orange offensive lineman Michael Lasker Jr. is one such voice to speak out on Twitter: “So SU is suspending a guy a whole year for simply defending himself?? Is there more to the story? If not this is shameful!!! Do better @SyracuseU”. 

Caleb Okechukwu, a current Syracuse defensive tackle, weighed in an hour later on the site: “When I won the Syracuse Courage Award back in May… Lequint @JrLequint was one of the loudest cheering for me..” Okechukwu in the tweet called his teammate a “solid guy” and went on to say that he “deserves to be on the team with the guys right now”. 


Beyond his peers, both Emily Lynch and Jamie Beck (wives of members of the SU coaching staff) have tweeted in support of Allen. 

Officials for Syracuse Athletics have not responded to our requests for comment. We will update this article if we do hear back. 

The trial is set to begin July 19th.