Howard University football is scheduled to take on Northwestern University football this summer, but NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald will not be roaming the sidelines.
Northwestern University has fired Fitzgerald, President Michael Schill announced on Monday. This comes after multiple allegations of hazing and an independent investigation confirming widespread hazing in its football program. According to Schill, these hazing acts included nudity, forced participation and “sexualized acts of a degrading nature.”
“The head coach is ultimately responsible for the culture of his team,” Schill wrote in his statement. “The hazing we investigated was widespread and clearly not a secret within the program, providing Coach Fitzgerald with the opportunity to learn what was happening. Either way, the culture in Northwestern Football, while incredible in some ways, was broken in others.”
Allegations of improper behavior and hazing emerged last fall, resulting in multiple investigations.
Howard University was added to Northwestern’s schedule last October as a replacement for a previously scheduled game against New Mexico State. That game was set to take place on October 28, but New Mexico State is moving to Conference USA and had to pull out of several games. As such, Northwestern and Howard are set to meet on Oct. 7. David Braun will be the acting head coach on that day.
Howard is coming off a 5-6 season in 2022. It went 4-1 in the MEAC last season, claiming a share of the conference title along with North Carolina Central. NCCU went on to the Celebration Bowl, where it defeated Jackson State 41-34 in overtime.