Over 1,000 Ex-Northwestern Athletes Sign Letter Defending University’s Athletics’ Culture

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Northwestern University has been in a state of chaos in recent months after an explosive investigation revealed hazing within the school’s football program.

That eventually led to the firing of longtime head coach Pat Fitzgerald and further investigations that revealed wrongdoing in several other athletic programs.

Now, over 1,000 former athletes at the school are speaking up and defending the university.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reports that the letter is signed by ex-Northwestern athletes in every varsity sport at the school, including 277 football players and four football managers.

The athletes ensured they condemned hazing in any manner. But they claim it’s not indicative of the larger sports culture at the school.

“The allegations being made are troubling and we support the University’s efforts to fully investigate these claims,” Rittenberg says the letter reads. “However, these allegations do not represent or define the overall athletics culture at Northwestern.”

They went on further to talk about the positive impact the university’s athletics program had on their lives.

“The opportunity to compete at this level in both the classroom and in our respective sports is unique and deeply valued,” they stated. “These experiences were the building blocks for each of our lives after graduation. This is the Northwestern we proudly came to know and appreciate, and for which we are immensely grateful.”

“We condemn hazing of any kind and support the victims during their time of healing and recovery,” former NCAA tennis champion Alexis Prousis stated. “What we must remember throughout this difficult time is that the actions of a few do not and should not define the University and Athletics as a whole.”

Prousis a past president of Northwestern’s N Club, which connects former athletes to the school.

Northwestern athletic director Derrick Gragg, who took over in 2021, has not yet commented on the letter.