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1983-84 Cheerleaders

Joseph de Guzman sustained a spinal injury while roll diving over three other cheerleaders on December 17, 1983, at the Marquette/Syracuse men's basketball game at the Mecca Arena. De Guzman, who went on to graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1984 and the school of Dentistry in 1989, suffered a fractured and dislocated cervical vertebra.

When first hospitalized, he had no movement below the neck. De Guzman is now able to walk and is a practicing Endondist in the Milwaukee area. He filed a lawsuit against the university and reached an out of court settlement in October of 1990 for $1.56 million.

De Guzman said he wasn't sure he was happy with the settlement. “I don't know, I'm glad it's over with,” he said. Declining to comment on his specific disabilities, de Guzman said of the settlement, “I'd give it back a hundred times over, if I could be back to what I used to be.”

William Cannon, de Guzman's attorney, said Marquette would give de Guzman $1.5 million of the settlement, while de Guzman would receive the other $60,000 from a private equipment company. Cannon said he was, “very pleased” with the settlement.


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