No more Camp Kenosha, either.
When I was in high school, the freshmen on the football team were expected to drag/carry the blocking dummies out onto the practice field and back into storage every day. Guess that’d be considered hazing these days, too.
I didn’t do sports in high school, but for 10th graders(first high school year) there was hazing, but only for the cool kids. With 500 kids per class I guess it was impossible to haze the geeks, nerds, dweebs, stoners, etc. I was NOT a cool kid nor was I even on the edge of being cool.
Our high school had open campus for all classes, which was super nice.
Note: Freshman have moved into Wichita, Kansas high schools now and campuses are now completely closed I believe.
Camp Kenosha served its purpose. I actually bet Fitz was secretly happy to have an excuse to do away with it. Our facilities in Evanston are so much better than UW-Parkside
1 One would think a 2 week suspension during the off-season implies a very minor violation
2 No one likes to be connected in any way with any verified wrong doing , so I disagree with Marc’s comment that Fitz may be secretly happy about the result ( and resulting penalty)
3 Not sure how many people will look past the headlines ( or not) and think that ,NU with a prior reputation for having one of the cleanest programs in the country ,is now simply one of the rest
4 The article implied there were at least 50 people interviewed including former players. My neighbor (kid on the team) told me that very few current players agreed to be interviewed. If true, then there had to be a lot of coaches and former players to make up the 50
I don’t think Camp Kenosha has taken place since the Pandemic, and I agree with the sentiment that the on-campus facilities are far better than anything in Kenosha these days.
Suspending Fitz without pay for two weeks will cost him somewhere in the neighborhood of $200K, I believe.
I recall some stuff a few years back about players and coaches getting a pie in the face for a variety of reasons, that’d almost certainly be classified as hazing these days. Heck, looking cross-eyed at a player might qualify!
The timing of the suspension to me implies relatively minor transgressions although hazing should be discouraged however it manifests. We are in a dead period and before practice starts so it’s effectively a two week unpaid vacation, albeit an expensive one given Fitz’s contract. I agree with Harry that unfortunately most people will probably not look past the headline and while Fitz may have wanted to get rif of Camp Kenosha but felt tradition bound, he can’t be happy about the first stain on his program. That said, i think the long-term, and perhaps even short-term (recruiting) impact will be minimal.
It is interesting.
I wonder if this is also evidence of a new sheriff in town with regard to the AD.
Would this same thing have happened under Phillips?
So far Fitz has been the face of the University with the subtext that Northwestern holds itself to higher standards than just winning.
Perhaps this incident can be spun to support that claim. But it is also a smudge on what has been a squeaky clean image.
I’m talking about killing Kenosha not the controversy regarding hazing.
My previous company had a lunch program where free sit down lunch was provided and had been for decades. The son replaced the original owner. I believe he secretly wanted to cancel the lunch program for monetary reasons, but it was a long-term tradition. When the 2008-09 crisis happened he used that as a convenient excused to “suspend” the program and layoff the chef and helper. Despite the economic revival including our business it didn’t come back.
That is the point I am making with Fitz and Kenosha. Kenosha was a Barnett relic that felt like a tradition, but was probably more of a PIA and a hardship for Fitz and the coaches.
Full disclosure. I am a Fitz fan.
That said, I believe he is made of exactly what a college football coach should be. I see him as a tough, talented, compassionate, and smart human being who is done his job as well as possible with what assets he has been given. And he has certainly delivered multiple moments of success and excitement. He and Randy Walker gave us great memories. And it was fun.
My take is that this is merely an issue fostered by the growing campus woke police.
The spinning has already started with several commentators commending NU for taking all the right steps to curtail or at least slow down future hazing incidents. How much they were influenced by NU’'s PR firm we’ll probably never know.
At this point without knowing what the verified incident (s) is , it probably premature to say NU is doing all the right things. However, this a 2 week suspension in what is considered the off season . About the only punishment less than that, would be a written warning of some kind.
Unfortunately Fitz and his staff can’t keep tabs 100 percent of the time on their players; their best defense against problems, is to make every attempt to recruit kids of high character and to warn them of transgressions.
Knowing NU as I think I do ,which is to set the highest character standards for their athletic program, I’m willing to bet a lot , that it is a very minor incident and that NU has done more than what 95 percent of the universities would have done in a similar situation.
The biggest question I have is what activities or behavior are considered hazing? If there’s a (new) official policy, will Northwestern make it public? (I have my doubts about that.)
I don’t recall where I read it, but in some discussion of #METOO I read a statement that said something like this:
If you think something you are doing might be sexual harassment, it probably is.
My guess is that the same thing could be said about hazing.
Many football programs may still require athletes to run the stadium steps. IMHO, this isn’t hazing unless they’re required to do it because of who they are rather than what they did (or didn’t) do. So making all the freshmen players run the steps could be considered hazing, making the guy who missed 10 tackles in practice do it might not be considered hazing, or it might be.
Tell us the (new) rules, Northwestern!
My concern is does the punishment fit the crime…the punishment here has two elements, Fitz’s two week suspension and the negative PR in our hyper sensitive social media world. The crime is an incident of hazing believed minor and investigation found no systemic issues or coaches involvement.
The actions taken should address this happening again. But could this have been handled internally within the program without being the lead story on ESPN website earlier in the day…
I’m not sure in this day and age you could keep a two week suspension from getting out, and then it would REALLY look like NU was trying to hide something.
Better to be up front about what was done and why, even though it was IMHO lacking in details.
I don’t think the long term impact will be significant.
A little more info from my neighbor He said his kid won’t tell him the specifics but that The NU team used to do some minor “hazing” before Covid , and this was an attempt to bring it back by some of the players.
Just about everyone on the team thinks it’s minor and that a bunch of the transfer kids laughed that what went on at NU was nothing compared to what happened at some of their former schools
Apparently 1 kid squawked , and at least one of his parents , if not both, were lawyers , and they threatened to sue, go to the press etc etc. So NU was forced to respond; which they did by hiring the outside law firm to do their investigation
New reporting from the Daily today:
This is why I try not to attribute such stories to a climate of “you can’t even say anything anymore” until more details come out. Unfortunately, getting universities to take abuse allegations seriously (until it begins to make them look bad) is still a bigger problem than overreacting to claims.
If all of these allegations were corroborated by the law firm investigating , I strongly suspect Fitz punishment would have been much harsher. That doesn’t mean they aren’t true, just not corroborated
I don’t think that’s necessarily true. The allegations could have been corroborated (in fact, the executive summary says they were), but there may have been a lack of evidence that Fitz knew about it. That seems to be what the university’s statement says.
It will be interesting to see if this story leads to more information or a response from the university.
Actually while it says the allegations were corroborated ,we don’t know if the allegations presented in November ( which presumably the law firm’s report responds to ) were the same as what was told to the Daily months later. ( and which we are now reading today)
Yes, you’re correct, and I thought you might point that out, as my statement went a bit too far. But my main point was intended to be that whatever the allegations were (which could include what is being reported today), they could have been corroborated, while there may have been a lack of evidence that the coaches knew about it.
With these additional reports coming out, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this. The university is gonna be under pressure to provide some additional explanations. They had to know this might unfold like this.