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Joe Namath is Accused of Covering Up Serious Crimes at Football Camp

Photo: Mike Stobe

Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath is accused of covering up child sexual abuse that allegedly occurred at his football camp 51 years ago, according to court papers obtained by the New York Post.

Philip Lyle Smith, 64, filed a lawsuit as 'John Doe' before publicly identifying himself and detailing the alleged ordeal at a Joe Namath Instructional Football Camp in July 1972 to the New York Post. Smith claims he was abused by then-Brooklyn Poly Prep Country Club football coach Philip Foglietta.

Foglietta, who was later revealed to be a serial pedophile after his death in 1998, was allegedly allowed to repeatedly sexually attack Smith when the victim was 12, according to court documents, which referred to Namath -- who led the New York Jets to their only Super Bowl in franchise history -- and other defendants as "enablers and the pedophile protectors."

"Back in those days, Joe Namath was my idol," Smith told the New York Post. "And he went from my hero to a zero in my life."

Smith compared Namath's alleged negligence to late former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, who was accused of being aware of longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing young boys at the team's facilities for more than a decade.

“This case is equally about the many adults in positions of power at the [camp] including Joe Namath and [former Jets defensive back and camp partner John] Dockery, who were aware of, tolerated and covered up known sexual abuse at the camp, abuse that had a lasting effect on Doe,’’ the allegations in amended court papers filed in 2021 stated.

Smith, who initially filed a negligence suit in 2019, claims the trauma he experienced led to him not fathering children in fear that they would suffer a similar situation, claims that he received special perks at the camp while he was being groomed and abused by Foglietta, which included eating meals with Namath, Dockery and other NFL players. The married Florida real estate broker said the trauma he suffered convinced him to never father children in fear that they would suffer a similar fate.

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