Ohio students are showing that you don’t have to go to law school in order to learn the rules of “lawfare”.

This may be a new approach for students who sue their colleges for punishing them in campus sexual misconduct investigations: claim the process violates the state constitution.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that an athlete and former law student at the University of Cincinnati have sued the school over their punishments:

The athlete was called into his coach’s office in October expecting to be named team captain. Instead, he was accused of violating UC’s sexual harassment policy. He wasn’t told who made the allegation or the substance of the allegation, the suit notes, but was suspended from athletic participation and wasn’t given the chance to rebut the accusations or defend himself. Despite filing an open records request for the accusations, the athlete wasn’t provided them by UC.

He was reinstated five weeks later — but UC still didn’t tell him the name of his accuser or the specifics of the accusation.

The law school graduate was accused of sexual assault in an incident off campus in March. He was found responsible in a disciplinary hearing by Cummins’ office. The incident wasn’t reported to UC police, there was no evidence to support the allegation and he denied any wrongdoing, the suit notes.

The suit accuses UC and Cummins of trampling the rights of the accused by presuming them guilty, the opposite of the way the U.S. legal system operates. “The UC Code of Conduct is facially unconstitutional,” the suit notes.

The suit also targets the “more likely than not” legal standard mandated by the Department of Education in sexual misconduct cases, saying it encourages schools to punish accused students even before an investigation:

“(H)igh-ranking administrators at UC are determined to find students accused of misconduct responsible in order to ‘look good’ for the Department of Education,” the suit notes.

It asks the court to suspend all similar hearings by the university, saying they violate the state constitution.

The story says a hearing was set for yesterday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, but there’s no followup Enquirer report.

Read the Enquirer story.