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Northwestern Suspends Coach Pat Fitzgerald

On Friday, Northwestern University announced a two-week suspension for head football coach Pat Fitzgerald. The suspension comes after the conclusion of an investigation into hazing allegations involving the Northwestern football team.

In November 2022, Northwestern received a complaint regarding hazing within the football program. While the full investigation report is kept confidential, the university released a summary of the investigation, which included interviewing more than 50 individuals associated with the football team and combing through emails and player surveys dating back to 2014.

Through the investigation, the information gathered corroborated the complainant’s claims. Despite failing to find that the coaching staff knew about the hazing, the investigators determined that the staff could have discovered and reported the hazing. Thus, the university announced multiple changes to improve the program, including a two-week suspension (without pay) for football coach Pat Fitzgerald.

Additionally, the team will no longer hold football practices at “Camp Kenosha” in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Northwestern held training camp. Other measures include additional reporting tools, monitoring the locker room by someone that does not report to the coaching staff, and requiring anti-hazing training.

In the end, Northwestern University hopes to carve a new future for the program.

Landis Barber is an attorney at Safran Law Offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can connect with him via LinkedIn or via his blog He can be reached on Twitter @Landisbarber.

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