Northwestern University Suspends Head Coach, Pat Fitzgerald, Following Hazing Investigation

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The hazing claims were largely supported by people involved in the Wildcats football program made at the end of the 2022 season.

An investigation was launched last December after a complainant alleged players engaged in hazing often in the locker room. They say it may have started at Camp Kenosha in Wisconsin where the team used to hold training camp.

The results of the investigation, however, did not uncover the specific misconduct by any individual football player or coach, participation in or knowledge of the hazing activities was widespread among football players.

After receiving the results of an independent investigation, Northwestern issued head coach Pat Fitzgerald an unpaid two-week suspension.

Fitzgerald says he was not aware of the alleged hazing.

In addition to the suspension, the university says football practices at Camp Kenosha in Wisconsin will be permanently discontinued. Other actions involving the program include:

• The University will require monitoring of the football locker room by someone who doesn’t report to the football coaching staff.
• The University will create an online reporting tool specifically for student-athletes to anonymously report incidents of potential hazing or hazing-related concerns.
• The University will provide and require annual mandatory anti-hazing training for all coaches, staff members, and student-athletes, with an emphasis on reporting options, the duties to report, discipline for future violations, and the fact that hazing is not acceptable regardless of consent.
• The University will form an internal working group comprising Northwestern leaders across various disciplines to create a report on policy development, organizational culture, communication, training, and enforcement. The group will solicit input from external experts and will make their report open to the entire community.
• Northwestern Athletics will better utilize the annual student-athlete survey process to ensure coaches are aware of and act on student concerns.
• Northwestern Athletics will work with the NCAA and Big Ten Conference to ensure all processes and rules are followed.


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