CHICAGO — The president of Northwestern University is apologizing and accepting criticism over the schools’s hazing scandal.
The apology comes after more former athletes have filed lawsuits against the university.
President Michael Schill’s comments come in the form of an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, where he called the documented hazing that occurred entirely unacceptable
On the pages of the Tribune, Schill writes he and the university are sorry and the criticism aimed at Northwestern is understandable.
While not talking too much of what got the university in this position, he does try and move the conversation forward, saying, “One of the most important things we can do is to make sure that hazing never again occurs in our athletic programs or anywhere on the Northwestern campus.”
The scandal began to unfold in early June with allegations of hazing and racism within the football program.
After an investigation found the allegations credible, Schill first suspended then-head coach Pat Fitzgerald, only to fire him days later following a story in the university’s newspaper details what players told them was a culture of hazing and racist behavior on the team.
About a week later, the school fired it’s baseball coach after athletes reported bullying and abusive behavior.
In moving forward, Schill writes “It is critical that we understand why hazing took place and what must change in terms of our culture, processes and personnel in order to fully eradicate it.”
At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed against the unversity and coaches.
Attorney’s for former coach Fitzgerald admittedly denies he knew anytning about the hazing and racism.
The unversity hired former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the university’s culture and do a throrough review of how hazing and bullying are reported, along with the mechinisms in place to respond to reports of hazing.
Schill lists a number of questions he hopes are answered, writing “Why was hazing not reported to the university over the many years it occurred? Why might some staff have failed to notice or stop hazing activity? How can we help students recognize hazing and reassure them that their complaints will be investigated promptly and appropriate?”
Northwestern’s president also writes he is hopeful the actions taken in the wake of the scandal send a message that hazing will not be tolerated and people will be held accountable.