Northwestern University fired its head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, on Monday following the release of allegations of sexualized hazing in the program.
The decision came after the university released a summary of an independent investigation of allegations made anonymously by a student athlete in November 2022, and just two days after the university announced an initial suspension of Fitzgerald for two weeks without pay.
Northwestern president Michael Schill said in a letter to the campus on July 8 that he “may have erred” in only initially suspending the coach.
“The head coach is ultimately responsible for the culture of his team,” Schill said in a July 10 letter to the campus explaining his final decision. “The hazing we investigated was widespread and clearly not a secret within the program, providing Coach Fitzgerald with the opportunity to learn what was happening.”
Current players rallied around Fitzgerald and challenged the allegations in a statement attributed to “The ENTIRE Northwestern football team” Saturday. They called the allegations “exaggerated and twisted into lies.”