June 24, 2024

Litigation begins against Northwestern regarding allegations of endangerment

At a time when Northwestern faces potential litigation from fired football coach Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern is facing actual litigation from at least one — and apparently more — of the players who allegedly suffered injuries in Fitzgerald program.

Via NBCChicago.com, former Northwestern football player he has filed a suit under the pseudonym John Doe. The complaint alleges that Fitzgerald, Northwestern University President Michael Schill, the board of trustees, and athletic director Derrick Gragg “enabled and concealed sexual misconduct and racial discrimination.”

“It is disgraceful that this behavior is continuing until 2022,” said attorney Parker Stinar. “We fully intend to hold those who were involved, knew, enabled, and the university accountable as well.”

Stinar also believes that Fitzgerald had actual knowledge of the alleged misconduct.

“Based on the allegations we’ve seen and the reports we’ve seen, [Fitzgerald] They knew sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, racial discrimination and harassment,” said Stinar. “He knew about it. It was happening under his roof. He knew what was going on and allowed it for years and years.”

The school Fitzgerald was initially suspended for two weeks. After reports from the Daily North West and other publications regarding sexual harassment and a racially hostile environment within the football program. North West MacGerald broke. His attorney is the argument that the shot violates Fitzgerald’s contract and it damages his reputation.

Separately, attorneys Ben Crump and Steven Levin have announced they will be representing players in claims against the school. They have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday.

“These former North West football players are taking part in this legal action because they want to support and validate the allegations of abuse made by the two players who spoke to him Daily North West about the true nature of so-called whistleblowing,” Levin said in a recent press release. “They believe there is a need for greater oversight and accountability in college athletics to prevent such abuses from happening to other players in the future. The physical, emotional and sexual abuse not only violated Northwestern’s own policies, but also many laws, and even worse, it has resulted in irreparable harm, with some players even experiencing suicidal thoughts.”

Crump and Levin also claim that “a wide range of incidents of abuse have been found in the Northwestern football program,” and that they “hope to expand” the probe “beyond this program.”

“Sadly, our research suggests that this type of abuse of student-athletes may be much more common on college campuses than we know, because there is tremendous pressure to remain silent,” Crump said . “It’s time to count to protect young athletes.”

Indeed it is. If it happened at Northwestern, there’s a good chance it could happen at at least one of the other major college football programs. Maybe more. Maybe many more.

It is hoped that it will be brought to light, wherever it happened.

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