Northwestern athletics assessment cites positives, wanted enhancements

Northwestern College launched an unbiased report on athletics accountability and tradition Thursday, which reviewed “the processes and accountability mechanisms in place on the College to detect, report and reply to potential misconduct in its athletics applications, together with hazing, bullying and discrimination of any sort.”

The report described the outcomes of the assessment as “largely optimistic” but in addition famous room for enchancment. The assessment was performed over the previous 11 months by the legislation agency Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and was led by former U.S. lawyer common Loretta Lynch, in accordance with a Northwestern press launch. It comes nearly a 12 months after the college fired two coaches over allegations of hazing, bullying and harassment throughout the athletics division. The hazing was uncovered by an exterior investigation and reportedly occurred on the college’s soccer workforce, the place upperclassmen compelled youthful teammates to endure sexualized and degrading rituals on the workforce’s Wisconsin coaching facility in addition to within the Northwestern locker room. At the least three former Northwestern scholar athletes filed lawsuits in opposition to the college in consequence.

The legislation agency’s workforce reviewed the college’s and its athletics division’s “insurance policies and reporting procedures, coaching and schooling supplies, and student-athlete suggestions gathered via annual expertise surveys and exit interviews,” in accordance with the govt abstract of the report. The agency’s representatives spent a number of days on campus assembly with members of the Northwestern group and touring related amenities. They interviewed greater than 120 folks, together with college students (athletes and nonathletes), athletics division management and workers, coaches and workforce workers, college directors, college members, and trustees, the abstract stated.

The report included a number of suggestions the reviewers stated “would enhance the flexibility of Northwestern’s present reporting and accountability mechanisms to detect threats to student-athlete well-being and would additional align Athletics tradition with the College’s broader mission.”

The suggestions embrace enhancing relations between college and the athletics division, clarifying the mandate and duties of the Committee on Athletics and Recreation—which is comprised of college members—and enhancing responsiveness and accountability for reported misconduct throughout the athletics division.

“Whereas our suggestions are targeted on the areas wherein we consider enchancment can and ought to be made, the outcomes of our assessment have been largely optimistic,” the report says. “We now have noticed a dedication by the College and Athletics Division to the well- being of their scholar athletes. It’s unsurprising, in gentle of that dedication, that so most of the student-athletes who participated in our assessment expressed nice appreciation for the assets made out there to them at Northwestern, and usually spoke extremely of their faculty athletic expertise there.”

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