EVANSTON, Ill. — In the days ahead, Northwestern fans and alumni, Chicagoans, and the greater sports world alike will learn whether or not Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald will face further punishment in the aftermath of an investigation into hazing allegations made against the university’s football program.

Lawyer Michael Levine, who has represented victims of hazing across the United States, told WGN News that more actions may be in store.

“If the coaching staff and others in the athletic department, if they were doing their job, they would have known about this,” Levine said. “What the university is doing in response to this, it’s too little, too late, a shockingly small slap on the wrist in light of what the allegations are.”

Hazing allegations arose against the Northwestern football program last November, prompting the university to task a law firm with conducting an independent investigation of the claims being made.

The investigation, led by Maggie Hickey, a former inspector general of Illinois, featured dozens of players interviewed and almost a decade of data reviewed, with the conclusion being the hazing allegations brought forward were largely supported, and that knowledge of hazing was widespread amongst players, but not necessarily coaches.

“These are student athletes, many of whom are on scholarships, some want to play professionally. They’re not trying to make waves,” Levine said. “They’re trying to play. Ultimately, there is a culture of silence.”

More details about what exactly was being alleged against the football team was written up in the university’s student-run newspaper — The Daily Northwestern — yesterday, describing a practice known as ‘running,’ where upperclassmen dressed in masks and would perform hazing of a sexual nature on a victim.

Players interviewed in the article by The Daily Northwestern, who wished to remain anonymous, alleged Fitzgerald knew about the hazing practices, claims which the coach has denied and current players on the team have said in a statement, were “exaggerated and twisted.”

When asked if player support and the statement from the football team would help Fitzgerald keep his job, Levine offered a pessimistic outlook.

“No, I don’t” Levine said. “I think there will absolutely be further penalties.”

Fitzgerald was assessed a two week suspension without pay at the conclusion of Hickey’s investigation.

In a statement released late Saturday night, Northwestern University President Michael Schill alluded to the potential for further punishment, saying in part, “upon reflection, I believe I may have erred in weighing the appropriate sanction for Coach Fitzgerald. 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.”

Levine said Schill may have erred too lightly, and applauded the student newspaper for their coverage of the hazing allegations and the corresponding investigation.

“It’s only after the backlash in the media, the strong reporting from the school newspaper that now the university president is saying he may have erred,” Levine said. “Without that backlash, they’d just be trying to brush this under the rug.”