The lawsuits are starting

One would think as part of Mortys retirement package , he received some sort of tail insurance for personal liability during his time at NU

Phillips leaving for another job probably didn’t get anything from NU , though May have received something akin to tail insurance from The ACC for any prior work with NU as part of his employment package


Our village has a ton of rules: No sheds, only decorative fences, only masonry fireplaces. etc.
I read through the covenants at a subdivision my previous company’s owner was developing. Those were insane: garage door must be closed except when entering or exiting, trashcans can’t be visible from the street, only approved chemicals on the lawn, no parking in your driveway, only approved mailboxes, only single bay garage doors no doubles, etc.
Some rules civilize an area and make it livable for the majority others are just Karen-y.

I would think the D&O insurance NU carries would continue to cover him for anything that happened during his tenure, I’ve been tangentially involved in lawsuits in other organizations (thankfully never named myself) and the carrier covered the costs, though not the current and former directors’ time dealing with the suit.

Piercing the liability veil to reach the personal assets of directors is difficult, and since NU has several billionaires on its Board of Trustees, I’m sure they’re all very aware of that.

When my Father was the SV. VP of a Bank, he was a party to lawsuits just about every month. The Bank’s lawyers would go before the judge and have the personal charges dismissed within days.

The Lawyers in these cases would sue everyone on the financial Statement… I’m sure that is what is happening now, and at what cost - destroy a program that helps a group of individuals, and helps draw people into your other programs?



You anyone with money who may have been connected in any way

When the United plane crash occurred in 1989 in Iowa ( with one of the passengers ,the Albany Patroons basketball coach) the defendants were such entities as United, the engine maker ( Pratt and Whitney?) , the maker of the plane , etc,etc. One pundit quipped if they could have sued the ground itself , with God as the owner , they would have


who may have been connected at with money

Coach Roy,

The lawyers are representing people who claim that Northwestern injured them during the time that they were students.

The only thing that Northwestern has admitted so far is that hazing occurred.

The lawyers for those making the claim are going to need to prove that their clients WERE hazed, that they suffered some personal loss, and that at least someone on their list is responsible.

In 2005, the family of Radhidi Wheeler accepted a $16M settlement from NU for their wrongful death claim.

It is highly likely that many of these cases will also be settled at an amount that the responsible insurance companies are willing to pay.

This is the outcome of the administration’s fumbled response to a story that had front page news written all over it. They had SIX MONTHS to prepare a plan, and this is the best that they could do?

IMHO, the trustees deserve everything that is coming their way because that’s the sort of huge liability and reputational damage that will force the trustees to finally take substantive action and clean house.



I don’t think NU had 6 months to prepare a plan. The report came out very recently, perhaps ,only a few days prior to Schills initial announcement. The investigation was started around late November early December (co incidentally soon after the player in question was visibly upset at not being inserted in games , while non scholarship players at his position were). It’s possible they were keeping NU informed during their investigation , though such communication could have tainted their ability to claim “An independent investigation”

As an aside I was told by a decent source ,that Wheeler’s mother was willing to forgo her half of the settlement if NU had fired Walker ( Father received the other half)

As to director liability, I agree in principle that directors should be held accountable to what they reasonably should be able to do in their oversight capacity . It will force them to do their job I will also suggest that such adherence to those principles may chase away current and future directors of organizations


I am very afraid that you are right, Jeff.

In the final analysis, it will probably come down to a bunch of older players trying to “welcome” the new guys into the club and doing things that used to be acceptable but turned into “hazing,” (whatever that really is).

When I was inducted into my College Fraternity, (1965) we went through “help week.” It was a right of passage, and while it was not always pleasant, it did serve to initiate me into the group, pulled the new brothers together, and in retrospect was a bit of fun.

In the Navy, there was the Shellback Initiation (that I missed) and the Chief Petty Officer initiation (mine was 1973), that had a purpose in that it was designed to show the new CPO that you can survive any indignity when the goal is to succeed.

In any case, both Pledge Week and CPO Initiations have now been toned down, for better or worse.

Now, some of the crap described in the Daily was pretty raw, nothing I experienced in both the Pledge Week and CPO Initiation came close to that sort of thing, and the initiations I participated in afterwards where I sometimes had a leadership role, always avoided anything sexual, and while they could be unpleasant at time for the initiates, they were always understood by the initiates as part of becoming a “Brother,” or a “Chief.” We went out of the way to instill that during and afterwards.

Apparently there was some component missing in the student leadership of Fitz’s teams at NU. Maybe its a sign of our times, but any group I was part of in the 60’s and 70’s would not have allowed what’s been described.

Go B1GCats


An organization that I used to do some work for had one of their directors resign from the Board because of concern over possible personal liability from some upcoming action that he had not supported.

As far as I can remember, no lawsuits were ever filed regarding that action.

Animal House is a good example comparing something fun vs. something darker

“Kroger, your Delta Tau Chi name is Pinto”
“Why Pinto?”
“Why Not?”

Belushi between Animal House and Blue Brothers was a virtuoso.

I did not join our HOA board when asked because we only had minimal D&O coverage


Probably very smart, Harry, HOA lawsuits are all too commonplace, according to people I know who are in HOA properties. (Thankfully, while there are several pages of covenants on our property, covering things like landscaping and design parameters, there is no HOA.)


They didn’t start the investigation on a whim.

They had solid enough evidence bubble up (likely from the same sources that eventually showed up in the Daily) to decide that a third party investigation was called for.

At that point, they certainly had some idea of how bad this could get. Most responsible organizations would start worst case scenario planning at that point so that they wouldn’t get caught flat footed if word got out DURING the investigation.

That’s why I was just gob smacked that they still chose to go forward with the “sweep it under the carpet and hope nobody will notice” plan.

That speaks to a serious breakdown in both leadership and vision.

And it’s accountability for that breakdown that will ultimately become the focus of the lawsuits because that’s where the real money is - not Fitz.


One has to wonder what instructions they gave the firm that did the initial investigation.

The single thing that has baffled me the most about the university’s handling of this was why they released the report when they knew that Gragg was in the middle of an extended vacation. Even if they did it because they intended for Schill to be the primary face of the response, it made Gragg look even worse.


Maybe they thought the report would leak and they’d be left having to explain why they didn’t take action immediately after receiving it?

Were I a Trustee, I’d probably want to know more about the timing of the initial actions. Unlike us, Schill had the full report, not just the summary, and if the details in the full report come close to confirming what was in the DN, then someone completely blew it on the potential for this becoming the huge mess it has become.

I’m still waiting for this to spread to other schools, though that may not help NU’s situation much.

Well if it does spread to other schools, which I predict it will , it might at least take some of the national microscope off of NU, particularly if we hear elsewhere of more serious allegations. One would think there are disgruntled players out there, or those that feel what happened in their locker room was just plain wrong, or perhaps those that think they can get some money ( whether deserved or not) will start piping up.

Regarding Gragg’s vacation , I don’t understand it. While it’s not super important, it’s bad optics for him and/or NU to be so far away and not part of the conversation.
Unless Schill thought he could hang onto the report for a while ,( risking leaks) ,Gragg should have been told to stay back once Schill had a clue as to when the report would be finalized.

As an aside, my neighbor reports that Braun spoke with the players and families through a zoom call yesterday ,and that my neighbor thought he was a really good guy and cared for the players ( NU might need more than that for a HC at this point)


I don’t think anyone’s expecting a miracle worker, but maybe he’ll be sort of a Bill O’Brien for the Cats and can begin the internal healing process.

Assuming we fire Schill we could be battling for the best candidates as Stanford’s is resigning for apparent academic fraud.

“Unless Schill thought he could hang onto the report for a while ,( risking leaks) ,Gragg should have been told to stay back once Schill had a clue as to when the report would be finalized.”

It’s a report that the university commissioned (and despite it being an “independent investigation,” should have had control over the timing) that’s been six months in the making. A two-week trip to Europe probably has a similar planning window. It seems that if they’d wanted to – and they should have wanted to – that the two things could have been coordinated so that Gragg was in town.