Northwestern Director Criticizes Staff Members for Wearing Clothing That Supports Pat Fitzgerald’s Actions

The former coach was accused of inappropriate actions

Last Wednesday (09), through social networks, the new athletic director of Northwestern, Derrick Gragg, went public to report that he was disappointed with his team and players for wearing uniforms that made mention of Pat Fitzgerald, former Northwestern University coach who was kicked off the team after being accused of harassment.

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“I am extremely disappointed that some of our football program staff members have decided to wear “Cats against the world” shirts. Neither I nor the University knew they owned or wore T-shirts today. Shirts are inappropriate, offensive and deaf. Let me be clear, hazing has no place at Northwestern and we are committed to doing whatever is necessary to resolve issues related to hazing, including thoroughly investigating any accidents or allegations or any other misconduct,” said Derrick Gragg, New Director northwestern athletic.

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According to investigations and reports, during Pat Fitzgerald’s tenure at the University, students and players were required to participate in university hazing off and on the field, in which inappropriate situations occurred in the locker room and in training. Several complaints alleged that the former player allowed sexual harassment between members.

The investigations began in January of this year and earlier this week, more information was released leading Pat Fitzgerald to be removed for 14 days. However, when more details were unraveled, Northwestern University reassessed the coach’s attitudes and ended his bond.

“As much as Coach Fitzgerald has meant to our institution and our student-athletes, we have an obligation and responsibility to live up to our values, even when it means making difficult and painful decisions like this one. I recognize that my decision will not be universally applauded and there will be those in our community who may disagree. Ultimately, I am charged with acting in the best interest of the entire university and this decision reflects that. The damage done to our institution is significant, as is the damage to some students,” said Northwestern President Michael Schill.

In the face of the allegations, Pat Fitzgerald claimed that he was not aware of the events during the hazing. “I was very disappointed when I learned of the allegations of hazing on our football team. Although I was not aware of the alleged incidents, I spoke to officials who communicated my suspension to me”.

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