Wednesday, February 28, 2024

No hazing allowed: Northwestern fires Pat Fitzgerald

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Northwestern Wildcats have fired longtime head football coach Pat Fitzgerald. This news comes days after hazing allegations rocked the program.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg released a statement from the entire football program that pushed back against the allegations. The social media post also said that Fitzgerald did not know of or have any involvement in the allegations.

Former Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald reacts against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half
Pat Fitzgerald reacts against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first half (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

However, the school administrators believe they had enough evidence to initially suspend the 48-year-old. He was suspended over the weekend for the first two games of the season.

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Now, the administration wants a new leader.

Fitzgerald, who is an alumnus of the university, had been the Wildcats head coach since 2006. He was an assistant coach with the program from 2001 through 2005 before being promoted to head coach.

“The confidential report concluded that while there was corroborating evidence that hazing had occurred, there was no direct evidence that Coach Fitzgerald was aware of the hazing. In determining an appropriate penalty for the head coach, I focused too much on what the report concluded he didn’t know and not enough on what he should have known,” President Michael Schill said on Saturday. “As the head coach of one of our athletics programs, Coach Fitzgerald is not only responsible for what happens within the program but also must take great care to uphold our institutional commitment to the student experience and our priority to ensure all students — undergraduate, and graduate — can thrive during their time at Northwestern.

“Clearly, he failed to uphold that commitment, and I failed to sufficiently consider that failure in levying a sanction.”

Fitzgerald had gone 110-101 as the Wildcats head coach. However, the Wildcats struggled the last two seasons.

In 2022, the team went 1-11. The year prior, the team had another losing season, as they went 3-9.

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Their last winning season under Fitzgerald was in 2020 after the Big Ten initially didn’t want to play their season. Then, after pushback, they played at a later date.

Northwestern went 7-2 in 2020.

Fitzgerald had three winning seasons at Northwestern. They came in 2012, 2015, and 2017.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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