Northwestern coach suspended for two weeks

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald has been suspended for two weeks following a lengthy investigation into hazing incidents at Northwestern. No individual coaches or players were named but the report did say hazing incidents were widespread.

When I was in high school, the freshmen on the football team were expected to carry the tackling dummies out to the practice field and back into storage every day, I suppose that’d be considered hazing these days, too.

The Chicago Tribune is saying that Pat Fitzgerald’s future as Northwestern’s coach may be in doubt following a story in the Daily Northwestern with some rather graphic details of the hazing that is alleged to have taken place. Fitz has already been suspended without pay for two weeks, although the report Northwestern commissioned did not indicate he had any direct knowledge of any hazing activities.

Will this story blow over or will it just grow bigger and bigger?

In an update late Saturday, Northwestern’s new President says that he may have erred in the penalties given to Pat Fitzgerald, as it is clear that Fitzgerald failed in his responsibility to NU.

Looks like Northwestern’s most successful football coach in wins is headed out the door soon.

This is a real thing although I have no proof of anything. I think harassment has on being in college locker rooms to this day. With that said , I believe if the allegations are true at Northwestern it is big time to cause for concern. If what I have read Fitzgerald should be fired immediately.

I wonder if Northwestern isn’t hoping Fitz will resign first.

I was wondering if this was a slap on the wrist. 2 weeks during the recruiting quiet period and should be no organized team activities (with coaches involved)

That certainly is a possibility. If the allegations are proven, and I would say they are all but proven, it will be very difficult for Fitz to remain at Northwestern by his own choice or Northwestern’s choice. It probably will make it hard for him the get another Head Coaching job.

It is too bad. I always liked the guy but I didn’t know these allegations might be part of his program. It would appear possibly Fitz didn’t encourage it but it appears he allowed it. I don’t see any way he couldn’t have known about it.

There was another college program that had a major incident some years ago, and in the report on it there was a statement to the effect that an unstated part of the assistant coaches’ job was to protect the head coach from knowing about things he shouldn’t know about.

As I recall, that head coach got fired anyway. I’m not saying that’s what happened at NU, though.

I suppose that is possible but I am not sure how the Head Coach could be shielded constantly from hazing in the locker room. A person would think sooner or later he would see something.

By the way it would appear West Virginia has its own set of problems.

That worked so well for Joe Paterno

I think most major football programs have separate locker rooms and showers for the coaches, and I think sometimes the head coach has a private shower.

There are other staff, trainers and the like, who would almost certainly be in the locker room when the players are there.

The extent of Joe Paterno’s isolation from his coaches and players was a matter of discussion several years before the Sandusky issue broke open.

Given that Paterno died of complications from lung cancer just 74 days after he was fired, one has to wonder just how many people knew he was sick in 2011.

I think that is probably true but I would think the Head Coach would take a stroll through the players locker room every now and then. At any rate, that kind of activity would be tough to keep the Head Coach from having any knowledge at all it was going on. A person would think at some point the Head Coach would be told about it at the very least.

‘Management by Walking Around’ was pioneered by David Packard at HP in the 1940’s. Tom Peters later picked up on the concept.

It is worth noting that there have been union contracts that forbid the practice, requiring advance notice of any visits by senior management. You are free to form your own conclusions as to why unions wouldn’t want senior management wandering around.