CHICAGO — Northwestern University has launched an independent investigation into their football program after an allegation of potential hazing was received after the end of last football season.

Northwestern University Assistant Vice President of Communications Jon Yates released the following statement in response:

“After the end of the 2022 season, Northwestern received an allegation of potential hazing in the football program. While we do not yet know whether the allegations are true, hazing is prohibited by University policy, and we take these claims seriously. The health, safety and well- being of our students is the first priority.

“The inquiry is in its very early stages and will be rigorously fair to everyone in this process. It will focus on gathering facts and will not jump to conclusions.

“Northwestern strongly supports members of our community who come forward with concerns and encourages anyone to report those concerns to the University.

“Immediately after receiving the hazing allegation, the University appointed an outside, independent attorney, ArentFox Schiff partner Maggie Hickey, to investigate. Ms. Hickey has a wealth of experience investigating complaints, and she has the full cooperation of the University and the athletics department.

“Ms. Hickey will lead her investigation independently, but the University expects that Ms. Hickey’s exploration will include interviews with players, coaches and staff.

“The purpose of Ms. Hickey’s investigation is to find the underlying truth of the allegations — including the scope of any potential hazing activity or harmful culture.”

Jon Yates, AVP of Communications

According to a story from ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Athletic Director Derrick Gragg informed players and coaches of the inquiry Wednesday.

It is unclear where the allegations came from or who may have made the allegations in the first place, whether it be coaches, staff or players.

No other information is available at this time.