Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Jim Phillips has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit against Northwestern in connection with a hazing scandal that has rocked the football program, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Phillips was the Wildcats' athletic director from 2008-21, which covers part of the time when the alleged hazing occurred
A second former Northwestern football player filed a lawsuit against the university, school officials and former head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Per ESPN, the player -- identified as John Doe 2 -- played for the Wildcats from 2018-22
That lawsuit comes on the heels of another one that had been filed against the university, Northwestern president Michael Schill, Fitzgerald and other university trustees alleging they were negligent in allowing a culture of hazing in the football program.
A growing group of 12 former players -- including former quarterback Lloyd Yates -- have retained attorney Ben Crump to pursue legal action. Yates became the first Northwestern player to publicly speak up about alleged sexualized hazing, telling the Chicago Tribune that he experienced a "very degrading, dehumanizing, embarrassing act."
"This is a civil rights issue for me," Crump said at a news conference Wednesday. "Because I think these players have the right to be respected and valued and not hazed, intimidated and retaliated."
Fitzgerald was fired for cause July 10 after initially being suspended for two weeks without pay. Fitzgerald is also mulling legal action against the school for breach of contract.
In announcing Fitzgerald's termination, Schill said players were exposed to "forced participation, nudity and sexualized acts of a degrading nature, in clear violation of Northwestern policies and values."
--Field Level Media