clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BREAKING: Jim Foster accused of toxic workplace environment, nine players and staffers tell 670 The Score

Another wave of controversy hits Northwestern athletics.

On Monday afternoon, a report broke that nine members of Northwestern baseball — both players and staff — shared with 670 The Score that head coach Jim Foster allegedly instituted an environment in 2023 that was toxic and “broke the spirit of the team.”

The university conducted an investigation regarding this behavior; however, the administration allegedly did not speak to Northwestern baseball players during that process. An official HR report was filed in November 2022 and concluded in February of 2023. Shortly after, two assistant coaches stepped down, as well as the program’s director of operations.

In addition, these members confirmed that Athletic Director Derrick Gragg conducted a “chaotic and unusual hiring process” in tabbing Foster as head coach in June 2022. He and Deputy Director of Athletics Monique Holland supposedly “pawned the hire off” to two Northwestern boosters, who sat in on final interviews.

Those boosters, who played for former head coach Ron Wellman, said that hiring a “disciplinarian” (as the report noted) like Foster, who coached at Army before coming to Evanston, would help the players overachieve.

According to the nine members who spoke with 670 The Score, this was anything but the case. Not only did the team go 10-40 during the 2023 season, but pitching coach Jon Strauss, director of operations Chris Beacom and hitting and recruiting coordinator Dusty Napoleon left the team as of Feb. 27, according to Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.

Off the diamond, the report noted there was much more wrong with the program. The report suggested that university HR investigation found Foster guilty of making inappropriate comments to a female staffer, as well as bullying and making derogatory comments. Further, the report shared that Foster had made racist remarks and encouraged players not to seek treatment for injury.

According to the report, one player was forced to engage in a “punishment run,” which lasted for the “vast majority of a 2.5-hour practice.” This occurred in spite of a Rhode Island player dying under Foster’s watch, allegedly for a “punishment run.”

Moreover, the report posited that 15 players transferred due solely because of Foster. When Foster left Army last summer, there was allegedly a “celebratory Zoom,” and the school was “thrilled” to remove him.

In February, when asked why Foster would not be fired, Holland allegedly told trainer Joshua Kuester that “sometimes the right thing to do is not always the best thing to do.”

This comes in the wake of numerous sexual hazing and racism allegations surrounding Northwestern football over the last few days.

Inside NU will continue to update this story as it develops.