Fitzgerald was suspended for two weeks without pay on Friday, July 8, after an outside investigation confirmed a former player’s account of hazing by teammates. The investigation also found that the hazing was widespread and had been going on for years.
In a statement, university president Michael Schill said that the decision to fire Fitzgerald was “difficult and complex.” He said that Fitzgerald was ultimately responsible for the culture of his team and that the hazing that occurred was “clearly not a secret within the program.”
Schill also said the firing was necessary to “send a clear message that hazing will not be tolerated at Northwestern.”
Fitzgerald was the head coach at Northwestern for 18 seasons, compiling a record of 110-101. He led the Wildcats to a Big Ten West championship in 2018 and 2020 and a 5-5 record in 10 postseason bowl games.
The hazing scandal has been a major blow to Northwestern football. The program has already lost several recruits since the allegations came to light, and it is unclear who will replace Fitzgerald as head coach.
The firing of Pat Fitzgerald is a significant development in the ongoing hazing scandal at Northwestern University. It is a clear signal that the university is taking the allegations seriously and will not tolerate hazing of any kind.
The firing also raises questions about the culture of Northwestern football. How did the hazing go on for so long without Fitzgerald’s knowledge? What steps will the university take to ensure that hazing does not happen again?
These questions will need to be answered in the coming days and weeks. But for now, the firing of Pat Fitzgerald indicates that Northwestern is committed to ending hazing in its football program.
Timeline of Events
- July 7, 2023: The Daily Northwestern student newspaper reports that two former Northwestern football players have accused the program of hazing.
- July 8, 2023: Northwestern University announces that it has suspended head football coach Pat Fitzgerald for two weeks without pay.
- July 10, 2023: Northwestern University fires head football coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Northwestern Wildcats Betting Odds and Advice
As expected, the Northwestern 2023 Win Totals betting markets have been removed from the board. They are +10000 to win the Big Ten West and +15000 to win the Big Ten championship game. These were the same long odds as before Fitzgerald was removed, and they likely won’t change once a new head coach is named.
The Wildcats are expected to open their season Sunday, September 3, at Rutgers. The Wildcats are currently +6.5 away underdogs at DraftKings Illinois (-110) with a 40-point total.
Taking Rutgers -6.5 at home against Northwestern might not be a bad idea. Northwestern was rebuilding this season, and now with Fitzgerald being fired, everything could completely change with their roster.
Allegedly future recruits have already changed their minds about attending Northwestern, and who knows how many current players supportive of Fitzgerald will decide to hit the transfer portal. Rutgers will likely cover the -6.5 without this scandal, and I would grab the -6.5 before it moves.
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