Northwestern Suspends Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald

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Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been suspended following an investigation into hazing allegations.

The Northwestern Wildcats launched an investigation in early 2023 into allegations of hazing within Fitzgerald’s program, and the findings have led to a two-week suspension for the program’s head coach.

The suspension is unpaid and starts immediately. That means he won’t miss a single second once the season starts. The team will also no longer be allowed to do off-campus training in Wisconsin.

Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald has been suspended two weeks without pay. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

“While the investigation did not discover evidence that coaching staff knew about ongoing hazing, the investigators said that there had been opportunities for them to discover and report the hazing conduct,” the university announced Friday.

Specific details weren’t released by the program.

Pat Fitzgerald suspended two weeks after hazing investigation.

Following the decision, Fitzgerald released the following statement:

I was very disappointed when I heard about the allegations of hazing on our football team. Although I was not aware of the alleged incidents, I have spoken to University officials, and they informed me of a two-week suspension, effective immediately. Northwestern football prides itself on producing not just athletes, but fine young men with character befitting the program and our University. We hold our student-athletes and our program to the highest standards; we will continue to work to exceed those standards moving forward.

Northwestern announces punishments after hazing investigation. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“Hazing in any form is unacceptable and goes against our core values at Northwestern, where we strive to make the University a safe and welcoming environment for all of our students. Our athletics programs are held to the highest standards, and in this case, we failed to meet them. I expect that today’s actions will prevent this from ever happening again,” university president Michael Schill also added in a Friday statement.

Fitzgerald’s suspension and the ending of camp in Wisconsin aren’t the only changes happening. The school announced an online reporting tool will be created, there will be anti-hazing training and the locker room will be monitored by someone outside of the football team’s chain of command.

Pat Fitzgerald suspended two weeks after hazing investigation. He isn’t accused of having direct knowledge. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Northwestern went 1-11 last season and is looking to bounce back in 2023. Now, it will have to do so while training for two weeks without Fitzgerald.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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