Northwestern University’s hazing scandal was already bad…now it appears to have gotten even worse.
More players have come forward about the alleged behavior they were forced to endure as members of the team, and some were racist. Black players allege they were forced to enter racist watermelon-eating contests.
According to CBS News, the new revelations come from two new lawsuits filed in Cook County Circuit Court by two players who played for the team in 2004 and 2005.
Nearly 20 years ago, Pat Fitzgerald –who was just relieved of his head coaching duties– was the then recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach, and he “knew and encouraged this behavior to happen to these very young and impressionable men.”
“This behavior is especially despicable coming from a coach who recruited kids and teenagers out of their homes and living rooms, promising parents that their children, many of whom would be leaving home for the first time, were going to be taken care of while at Northwestern,” both lawsuits state.
Aside from the shocking watermelon-eating competition, other claims in the lawsuit corroborate previous claims of sexual abuse, like forcing other players to nakedly rub past each other to take showers and holding down the freshmen as upperclassmen took turns dry humping them while wearing “Purge-like” masks.
When the first report was discovered by the school’s newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, in July, Fitzgerald was initially just suspended without pay for two weeks. He’d later be fired after the severity of the hazing was revealed.
He has since retained a lawyer to argue against the switch in punishments.
“Last Friday, Northwestern and I came to a mutual agreement regarding the appropriate resolution following the thorough investigation conducted by Ms. (Maggie) Hickey,” he said in a statement. “This agreement stipulated a two-week suspension. Therefore, I was surprised when I learned the president of Northwestern unilaterally revoked our agreement without any prior notification and subsequently terminated my employment.”
See how Twitter reacted to the new claims of hazing below.