Northwestern hazing scandal: Current players speak out for first time after football practice

Some staff members were seen wearing 'Cats against the world' t-shirts at practice

Dionne Miller Image
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
NU football players address media for first time since hazing scandal
Current Northwestern football players addressed the media Wednesday for the first time since the school's athletic program hazing investigation began.

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- The Northwestern University football team has returned to football practice under a new head coach as an investigation into hazing and misconduct within the program continues.

The players refused to comment Wednesday on the allegations. Some players said the team is mainly focused on their current season and playing the game of football.

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Football activity is welcome, but the reality of the situation remains.

Some players said they were devastated to lose their coach who has led the team to great success in past seasons.

Interim head coach David Braun said he does communicate with Pat Fitzgerald, whose son Jack remains with the team. However, Jack is currently more of an assistant than a participant.

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The Wildcats continue to prep for game one September 3 at Rutgers.

A handful of staffers were spotted in t-shirts that read "Northwestern against the world," including the jersey number of former linebacker and fired head coach, Pat Fitzgerald.

Northwestern University Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Derrick Gragg issued the following statement on the situation Wednesday:

"I am extremely disappointed that a few members of our football program staff decided to wear 'Cats Against the World' t-shirts. Neither I nor the University was aware that they owned or would wear these shirts today. The shirts are inappropriate, offensive and tone deaf. Let me be crystal clear: hazing has no place at Northwestern, and we are committed to do whatever is necessary to address hazing-related issues, including thoroughly investigating any incidents or allegations of hazing or any other misconduct."