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At least 15 former Northwestern athletes to file suit in hazing scandal, attorney says

Ben Crump, the distinguished civil rights legal professional representing a number of former Northwestern student-athletes after the latest revelation of a hazing scandal inside the college’s soccer program, introduced plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of at the very least 15 people claiming to have been subjected to bodily, sexual and emotional abuse.

Crump, joined by a number of former Northwestern athletes, spoke at a press convention Wednesday. He stated he and co-counsel Steven M. Levin spoke with greater than 50 student-athletes, together with each women and men who stated they experienced hazing at the university.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats earlier than a recreation towards the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. (Jeffrey Becker/USA At this time Sports activities)

“It’s obvious to us that it’s a poisonous tradition that was rampant within the athletic division at Northwestern College,” Crump stated.


“And what they shared with us was clearly a sample and apply of a tradition that was predicated on bodily intimidation, harassment, discrimination, abuse, each mentally and sexually, and it was normalized.”

Crump famous that a few of the college students concerned within the alleged abuse had been minors on the time. He additionally stated he and different attorneys have obtained disturbing particulars from former baseball and softball players on the college, along with rising complaints of abuse within the soccer program.

Northwestern University head baseball coach Jim Foster

Northwestern College head baseball coach Jim Foster heads again to the dugout for a recreation towards Notre Dame at Wrigley Area in Chicago Might 16, 2023. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune Information Service by way of Getty Photos)

“It is a civil rights problem, for me, as a result of I feel these gamers had the suitable to be revered and valued and never hazed and intimidated and retaliated [against],” Crump added.


“And so within the days and weeks to come back, I’m sure that others may have the braveness to inform their story. And I’m inspired by the telephone calls we’ve been receiving. These telephone calls from younger individuals first telling their story and asking, ‘If I come ahead what is going to occur to me?’ Nicely I would like them to know, you may be protected, and also you received’t be alone.”

Crump stated the lawsuit has not but been filed, however a separate legislation agency filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing ousted football coach Pat Fitzgerald of enabling a tradition of racism, together with forcing gamers of shade to chop their hair and behave otherwise to be extra in keeping with the “Wildcat Means.”

Ben Crump speaks during a press conference

Standing with former Northwestern athletes, legal professional Ben Crump speaks throughout a press convention addressing widespread hazing accusations at Northwestern College Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Picture/Erin Hooley)

Extra lawsuits, filed by a number of legislation companies, are anticipated to observe.


Northwestern President Michael Schill introduced in an open letter July 10 the choice to fireplace Fitzgerald after 17 seasons with the Wildcats got here because of an unbiased investigation that discovered him at fault over his “failure to know and stop important hazing within the soccer program.”

Fitzgerald was initially suspended two weeks following the confidential investigation, which didn’t discover “ample” proof that the teaching employees knew in regards to the ongoing hazing. It additionally discovered that there have been, nevertheless, “important alternatives” to search out out about it, and practically a dozen present or former gamers acknowledged the hazing inside the program.

However as new data surfaced, together with allegations of racial bias, the college moved to fireplace Fitzpatrick.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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Revealed : 2023-07-19 23:08:43

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