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BREAKING: Northwestern investigating allegations of hazing in football program after 2022 season

Major news out of Evanston on Wednesday afternoon.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Duke William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Just two days after reportedly hiring new defensive coordinator David Braun, another major bombshell has come out of the Northwestern football program.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg on Wednesday afternoon, the University has begun an investigation to look into hazing claims that occurred following the conclusion of the 2022 season.

In a statement to Inside NU, Northwestern Assistant Vice President of Communications Jon Yates said, “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.” Yates added that the investigation “is in its very early stages” and “will be rigorously fair to everyone in this process.”

The statement also added, “Northwestern strongly supports members of our community who come forward with concerns and encourages anyone to report those concerns to the University.”

After receiving notice of the allegations, Northwestern hired independent attorney and ArentFox Schiff partner Maggie Hickey to lead the inquiry. Per the school, Hickey is expected to conduct interviews with players, coaches and staff members regarding the situation.

The severity, circumstances and veracity of the allegations are not yet known.

According to the University’s hazing prevention website, “It is the responsibility of all students/student organizations to encourage an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity and to provide positive influences and constructive development for members and aspiring members. Students/organizations are expected to use good judgment to determine the abilities of individual students as they relate to organization activities and requirements.”

More information about what Northwestern and the State of Illinois consider hazing, as well as manners of reporting such behavior, can be found here.

This is an ongoing story and may be updated as further details become available.