Nicky Cumberland’s parents sue Texas Cowboys for son’s death

Hannah Williford

The parents of Nicky Cumberland, the UT junior and Texas Cowboy who died in a 2018 car crash, are suing the Texas Cowboys spirit group for negligence and Nicky’s wrongful death, according to KXAN.  

Nicky’s parents, Shawn and Sylvia Cumberland, claim the death of their son was caused by a night of hazing taking place before the crash. Now, the family is suing the organization, including former members, for over $1 million in damages, according to KXAN.

Nicky died from his injuries a few weeks after the driver of his ride back from the Cowboys’ September 2018 retreat fell asleep at the wheel, crashing the car. 

Although a University investigation suspended the Cowboys for hazing violations in 2019, the University could not confirm that the use of sleep deprivation was used as a hazing tactic. The lawsuit claims the retreat included events such as physical abuse, forced binge drinking and wrestling, and that new members were subject to sleep deprivation, according to KXAN.

However, according to the results of the University investigation, starting in 2022, evaluations made by the UT president could reinstate the spirit group sooner.