Northwestern sued over alleged hazing in football program

by ian

Last week, Northwestern University announced it would be firing football head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

The announcement comes as the school faces a legal battle over allegations of hazing and an abusive culture in its football program. Fitzgerald was previously suspended without pay over allegations that he knew or should have known of the hazing.

Eleven football players have claimed that they or fellow players were forced to commit degrading and humiliating acts by teammates. Multiple players have alleged that team members routinely commit sexually explicit acts as part of a hazing process.

One anonymous student told reporters that not only was coach Fitzgerald aware of the hazing but may have even encouraged it by mimicking hand signals used in hazing rituals. Fitzgerald has claimed that he was “not aware” of the hazing. Northwestern has since hired an independent law firm to investigate the allegations.

University President Michael Schill said in a statement that the decision to fire Fitzgerald was “for his failure to know and prevent significant hazing in the football program.”