Northwestern Football Under Fire For Hazing Violations; HC Pat Fitzgerald Suspended 

Published by: AK98

Big Ten Head Coach and Northwestern Wildcat General Pat Fitzgerald began serving the terms of his 2 week suspension Friday after allegations for hazing violations were verified. The long tenured head coach (being with the program since 2006) said in an official statement: 

“Northwestern football prides itself on producing not just athletes, but fine young men with character befitting the program and our University. We hold our student-athletes and our program to the highest standards; we will continue to work to exceed those standards moving forward.”

This comes after months long investigation into the program when whistleblowers surfaced accusing the head coach & football program of a culture that supports hazing. Maggie Hickey (the former Inspector General of Illinois) began her investigation last December pertaining to information which surfaced in late November of last year. According to the report, the university received complaints alleging hazing occurring in locker rooms & abroad at “Camp Kenosha” (the location for preseason camp).

Northwestern

Within the report, accusations of forced involvement in hazing were acknowledged by multiple players. While recollections of specific encounters varied (leading to nothing substantial), acknowledgement of a “hazing culture” was recognized by the interviewees. It was also noted that Fitzgerald and his staff didn’t participate or have direct knowledge of specific incidences. As a result, Fitzgerald was handed down a mild two-week suspension without pay and the team will no longer be calling Camp Kenosha their preseason home.

“(The) investigation team determined that the complainant’s claims were largely supported by the evidence gathered during the investigation, including separate and consistent first-person accounts from the current and former players….(The investigation) did not uncover evidence pointing to specific misconduct by any individual football player or coach….(But found) participation in or knowledge of the hazing activities was widespread across football players.”

Investigators questioned over 50 former/current players, staff, and individuals associated with Northwestern Football, including reviewing emails and survey data beginning in 2014.

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