KNOXVILLE — Alexander P. Broughton, the University of Tennessee student at the center of last month’s infamous alcohol enema incident, said today he had never heard of “butt-chugging” before he woke up in hospital.
Broughton, 20, arrived at the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room the morning of Sept. 22 unconscious with an injured rectum and a blood-alcohol level of nearly .45, more than five times the legal limit.
According to a UT police incident report, Broughton’s cousin, who helped take Broughton to the hospital, told a police investigator that Broughton and other fraternity members had been butt-chugging wine.
The term refers to using an alcohol enema to get drunk faster.
Tuesday, Broughton called a news conference on campus and, while flanked by his Knoxville attorney Daniel McGehee and fellow members of his suspended fraternity chapter, denied any and all such allegations.
McGehee said they intend to take legal action, but “it is yet to be determined” who they will bring a lawsuit against.
However, McGehee added that the initial witness interviewed by police at the emergency room, John Patrick Carney, has denied ever making any such claims.
The lawyer said he would provide a sworn affidavit from Carney when a lawsuit is filed.
McGehee claimed university and hospital officials released “false and incorrect information.”
He also said that the UT Police Department incident report was released in violation of federal medical privacy laws.
Broughton, his family and other Pike members have admitted the fraternity was holding a drunken “blackout party” but denied the butt-chugging account. UT officials haven’t backed down from that conclusion.
“Evidence collected at the fraternity house later that evening supported this claim,” UT officials wrote in disciplinary charges against the fraternity.
UT officials shut down the chapter and ordered the frat house closed Friday, giving the members nine days to pack up.
“The case against the chapter is now behind us,” said Tim Rogers, UT vice chancellor for student life. “They cannot operate on this campus for a minimum period of two years.”
The decision came the same day the fraternity’s Zeta chapter president, George Bock, pleaded guilty to eight charges of student conduct violations — six from the weekend party that sent Broughton to the hospital and two from an Aug. 31 discovery by UT police of beer cans, beer bottles and a beer pong paraphernalia at the frat house.
The chapter agreed to surrender its charter as part of the plea, Rogers said. The university won’t consider allowing the chapter to reorganize before spring 2015 and could choose to prolong that suspension.
“Technically, the chancellor would have to invite them back onto campus,” Rogers said.
Pike members have until Oct. 7 to leave the house at 1820 Fraternity Park Drive. The frat house will remain property of the university, which will decide what to do with it after the 40 or so frat members move out, Rogers said.
The fraternity just recently renovated the house in 2009 at a cost of about $1.7 million.
The fraternity’s international office said it’s staying out of the “butt-chugging” argument.
“While there have been some sensational elements to the incident that took place on Sept. 22, 2012, the important area of focus for the fraternity is the illegal and dangerous activities involving alcohol,” Justin A. Buck, the Pike executive vice president and CEO, wrote in a statement Friday. “It is unfortunate that a group of initiated members of the chapter have tarnished Pi Kappa Alpha’s reputation. … These activities were not representative of the Zeta chapter, its alumni or the international fraternity and the mission they strive to uphold.”
Rogers, the vice chancellor, said he’s putting together a task force of faculty, staff, alumni and students to review Greek activity on campus and suggest ways to promote responsibility and good behavior.
The chapter’s guilty plea covered six charges from last weekend’s party:
* Physical abuse of a person that threatens health and safety;
* Illegal use of drugs or alcohol;
* Participation of students in group activities that cause damage to public or private property or cause injuries to people;
* Use of alcohol on UT-controlled property;
* Inciting other students to violate university policy; and
* Commission of an act on UT property or involving the university community that would violate state or federal law.
Friday’s guilty plea also covered two charges from the Aug. 31 police visit of alcohol use on UT-controlled property and inciting others to violate university policies.
A dozen people still face charges of underage drinking from the party Sept. 22. Broughton has recovered and returned to class.
Staff writer Matt Lakin contributed to this story.