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Northwestern Sued For Hazing Scandal

Lloyd Yates, former Northwestern quarterback has become the face and spokesperson for the hazing cases at Northwestern University.

This week, a fourth lawsuit was brought against Northwestern University concerning multiple hazing allegations brought up by former athletes. Lloyd Yates, the former Northwestern quarterback who graduated from the Illinois-based school in 2018, has been named as the fourth plaintiff in the hazing case. The other three plaintiffs have chosen to remain anonymous to protect their privacy, while Yates has become somewhat of a spokesperson for the cases.

An article published by The Daily Northwestern chronicled the details of the locker room hazing. According to the article, a common hazing practice in Northwestern football locker rooms was called “running”. The article goes into disturbing detail about what occurred during this ritual: “If a player was selected ‘running’… they would be restrained by a group of 8-10 upperclassmen dressed in various ‘Purge-like’ masks, who would begin ‘dry-humping’ the victim in a dark locker room.” The article goes on to describe a plethora of other degrading sexual rituals that players (many of them under the age of 18) were coerced into performing.

In a press conference held earlier this week, attorney Ben Crump and plaintiff Yates discussed their reasoning for the lawsuit and answered questions to shed light on future proceedings of the case. When asked whether Yates planned to take legal action against upperclassmen who took part in the hazing, the former Northwestern quarterback affirmed that he believed that all of the players are victims no matter what they may have taken part in. The lawsuit is rather meant to hold people in positions of power accountable for their failures to stop hazing. According to Sports Illustrated, the four lawsuits were filed against the Northwestern Board of Trustees, former head coach Pat Fitzgerald, Athletic Director Derrick Gragg, and University President Michael Schill.

Attorney Ben Crump speaks during a press conference addressing widespread hazing accusations at Northwestern University. / AP

During the recent press conference, Yates’ father William also spoke out about his son’s lawsuit. When asked if his son had ever mentioned any of the hazing rituals while he was still a student, William Yates said that he remembers his son talking about players being forced to “wrestle naked in the showers” and that he believes that his son had internalized the trauma he suffered while he was a member of Northwestern’s football team.

Since news broke about the football lawsuits, various members of other Northwestern sports teams have begun coming forward with their own stories. So far Northwestern’s baseball and volleyball programs have also been compromised by hazing allegations.

According to the New York Times, Northwestern baseball coach Jim Foster was terminated just days after the hazing scandal broke.

Monday morning, another lawsuit was filed against Northwestern’s volleyball departments after a former player accused them of negligence when dealing with a case of hazing in 2021.

As athletes continue to speak out against coaches and faculty members complicit in their abuse, it is guaranteed that Northwestern is just the first university in a long line that has yet to be held accountable for their deep-rooted traditions of hazing.


By Amaar Zarrieff, Freshman, Howard University

Instagram / X: amaar.fz


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Written by Amaar Zarrieff

Amaar Zarrieff, a student at Howard University, is an aspiring writer, filmmaker, and millionaire looking to make a positive impact on the entertainment industry.

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