New lawsuits expand Northwestern University's hazing scandal

These are among the first of more than 30 new suits that attorneys plan to bring against Northwestern University.
Attorneys speak at a news conference about new lawsuits against Northwestern University
Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 24, 2023

A former volleyball player has filed a lawsuit against Northwestern University, widening a scandal that alleges significant hazing within its athletic program. 

The player is the first female athlete to sue the university over the scandal. The new suit alleges Northwestern retaliated against her after she reported mistreatment.

In the suit, she alleges the hazing caused her physical harm sufficient to require medical attention in 2021. She says she was punished for violating the volleyball team's COVID guidelines, after contracting COVID-19 in February. She says she was forced to perform strenuous running exercises while coaches, trainers and teammates watched.

Meanwhile, another suit against the school by former Northwestern quarterback Lloyd Yates alleges hazing and abuse within the football program, including sexual abuse and racially charged comments directed at players of color.

A Northwestern University football helmet

Ben Crump: Alleged football hazing was abuse 'in the purest sense'

Attorney Ben Crump said student athletes faced physical and psychological abuse in Northwestern University's football program.


Civil rights attorney Ben Crump says his firm will file more than 30 suits against the school, drawn from complaints throughout its athletic programs.

"It was civil rights [abuse] in the purest sense," Crump said in a recent interview with Scripps News. "The coaches knew that there was a culture that existed of this hazing and this humiliation, this retaliation, as well as this sexual abuse that was going on. It's hard to fathom that coaches didn't know what was going on in their own programs."