Northwestern football players release statement on hazing allegations, head coach suspension originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Members of Northwestern University’s football team have released a statement regarding the findings of a months-long investigation into hazing allegations within the program and the subsequent suspension of the team’s head coach.
NBC Chicago’s Mike Berman spoke with a current Wildcats player who shared the letter, which the individual claims was signed by the entire team and is being presented as a “unified group.” The player who spoke to NBC Chicago asked to remain anonymous.
In the letter addressed to the Northwestern community, the players, in part, called the recent allegations that have been brought forth “exaggerated and twisted.”
“These fabrications have been made with the intention of harming our program and tarnish the reputation of our dedicated players and coaching staff,” they stated, in part. “We firmly deny the validity of these accusations and stand united in our assertion that they do not reflect the true character of the team.”
In regard to the hazing claims, the team members said the university “took the matter seriously and engaged in comprehensive interviews with current and former players and staff.”
“Following this thorough examination, outside counsel in collaboration with the university reached its own conclusions, which we trust were based on a fair and unbiased evaluation of the facts,” the team members stated.
The players wrote in defense of Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald, alleging he was “not involved in any of the alleged incidents in any way, shape or form.”
“Coach Fitzgerald had no knowledge of these allegations until they were brought to his attention during the investigation,” the players stated, in part. “Throughout his tenure, Coach Fitzgerald has consistently…