How does NU move forward?

I assume that a new head football coach will likely come from outside, and it’s been a while since Northwestern has conducted a full-fledged FB coach search, though that one turned out pretty good (Walker).

Nebraska had some of the worst coach hiring processes I’ve ever seen (Callahan and Riley) and several pro-forma ones (Solich, Pelini, Frost) before the one that brought Matt Rhule to Lincoln. It’s way too early to know how that one will turn out, the pre-season projections I’ve seen so far aren’t giving Nebraska much coverage and I doubt many experts will expect them to do better than 4-5 wins this year, but he seems to be doing the right sort of things, and several recruiting services say Nebraska is putting together a top 20 caliber 2024 recruiting class.

The interesting question may be how does one evaluate a candidate after what led to Fitz’s firing, given the undercurrent I’ve heard suggesting that some kind of hazing is widespread in college football?

It’s possible they will like Braun and keep him as HC.

While Walker did a fine job with the team and the spread offense ,he certainly could be held responsible for Wheelers death in the same way as Fitz is being held responsible for the hazing. He should have known what the assistant coaches were doing with the 90 degree / high humidity workouts on campus ( The ambulance incorrectly went to Dyche)

I’m told that Wheelers mother said she would have foregone her half of the settlement if Walker would have been fired


ESPN article on how NU moves on from the Fitz era:

Calls to shelve the stadium project.

Trib article on Dr. Gragg, the AD:

Gragg seems like a guy that can take the heat and do the right thing, we will see

Another Trib column from Sullivan asking questions (so far these don’t appear to be behind their paywall):

  1. Will it affect the stadium project?
  2. Does Fitz have a case?
  3. How will this affect the student-journalists who broke the story?
  4. Should NU football quit the Big Ten?

[nolan] nolan List Manager
July 12

Another Trib column from Sullivan asking questions (so far these don’t
appear to be behind their paywall):

  1. Will it affect the stadium project?
  2. Does Fitz have a case?
  3. How will this affect the student-journalists who broke the story?
  4. Should NU football quit the Big Ten?

Chicago Tribune

  Column: Unanswered questions for Northwestern after hazing

Many questions remain unanswered as Pat Fitzgerald and his attorneys
consider their options and Northwestern tries to move forward from one
of its worst weeks in memory.

Stewart Mandel (NU alum) has an article in the Athletic about this.
However, it will probably be unavailable to most of you. I have an
all-encompassing subscription to the New York Times which includes it.
BTW, here’s another topic: the New York Times is eliminating their
Sports division, and having the Athletic for all sports articles.

Another great article from Stewart Mandel.

For those who don’t have an Athletic or NYT subscription, here are a few brief excerpts.

Now might be an opportune moment for Northwestern as a university to hit pause and do some soul-searching.

Is Northwestern truly prepared to compete in that environment (the rapidly expanding gorilla of college sports that is the B1G)?

Because what we’ve seen unfold just since late last week is a staggering clinic in arrogance, obliviousness and incompetence all wrapped into one.

My thoughts exactly.


I’m not sure hitting pause is possible, even a one-year suspension of football would have huge repercussions. NU can tough it out and stay in the Big Ten, it can leave for another conference, if one would have them, at a cost of possibly several hundred million dollars, or it can pull a Robert Hutchins and drop varsity sports.


I’m awaiting fallout across other major division 1 programs. If as rumored the NU transfers claimed what happened at NU was nothing compared to their former schools, then we might see at least a few more coaches on the chopping block


Not necessarily. Barry Switzer ran a rouge program at Oklahoma, but no one cared until they routinely started losing to Nebraska, and Colorado and Okie State to a lesser extent.

How long did Rick the Slick Pitino get away with his shenanigans at LouisVile (deliberately spelled this way)?

Similarly, what’s the difference between a John “The Squid Calamari” Calipari player graduating and Halley’s Comet? People have actually seen Halley’s Comet. Yet, has anyone ever called for his ouster at Kentucky?

One of the worst cases of all involved football coach Mike DuBose at Bama Lama. He committed sexual assault on a female secretary prior to the 1999 season. Bama Lama demonstrated their commitment to ethics by removing a year from his contract. However, a victory over Florida resulted in him receiving that year back, and a victory over Florida resulted in him getting a bigger and better contract. They fired him after the 2000 season due to a 3-8 season.

Does anyone see Kirby Smart receiving any flak from the Georgia AD or President for the Jalen Carter street racing debacle resulting in the death of another Georgia player and a team manager? I don’t.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. “Integrity is just a word between influenza and interrogation now.”

How about Mike Kafka?

Kafka hasn’t coached at the college level, is he prepared to handle recruiting issues?

Then there’s the fact that if the hazing activities have been around at NU long enough to be considered a ‘tradition’, was Kafka part of them during his time at NU?

Also, Kafka’s on a trajectory to be an NFL coach soon. Although I’d love to see him be NU’s coach, I think the odd’s of that are very, very low.


He’s been on that ‘soon’ list for too long, IMHO.

That is what I said right before they appointed Fitz.



Fitz was widely considered NU’s coach of the future in early 2006, it’s just that the future became now, abruptly and sadly.

This time around, the longer someone has been at NU, the lower the odds are for that person. Braun’s new enough that he might not have much of that baggage, but will that satisfy the media and the critics?

Several letters are being written to Schill and Gregg from players’ parents asking them to come out with a statement that NU is not implicating anyone from the team or at least give them some kind of cover as they are suggesting the current innuendos being thrown around such as sexual predators will hurt them with job prospects , internships , etc . Remember many of these players who were there during the periods in question have graduated

On another connected issue Dan Webb is saying publicly that no jury will hold Fitz accountable for something he did not know was going on Obviously he is trying to convince to settle at a very high price