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Northwestern investigating hazing allegations

Oct 29, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald looks on during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern is investigating hazing allegations within its football program, the university confirmed via a statement Wednesday.

The university stressed a fair, diligent process while also emphasizing player safety to be its top priority. Northwestern said it had been made aware of the allegations following the conclusion of the 2022 season.

“While we do not yet know whether the allegations are true, hazing is prohibited by University policy, and we take these claims seriously,” the statement read in part. “Northwestern strongly supports members of our community who come forward with concerns and encourages anyone to report those concerns to the University.”

Per multiple outlets, members of the team were informed Wednesday of the independent investigation, which is being conducted by external attorney Maggie Hickey, of ArentFox Schiff.

“Ms. Hickey has a wealth of experience investigating complaints, and she has the full cooperation of the University and the athletics department,” the statement continued. “Ms. Hickey will lead her investigation independently, but the University expects that Ms. Hickey’s exploration will include interviews with players, coaches and staff. The purpose of Ms. Hickey’s investigation is to find the underlying truth of the allegations — including the scope of any potential hazing activity or harmful culture.”

Northwestern is coached by former player Pat Fitzgerald, a national defensive player of the year in 1995 (Sports Illustrated) and two-time consensus All-American. Fitzgerald has been the head coach of the Wildcats since 2006, compiling a record of 110-101 over 17 seasons.

The Wildcats finished 1-11 (1-8 Big Ten) in 2022.

–Field Level Media