Northwestern joins long list of American universities with a scandal in athletics

FILE - Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald watches his team during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers in Evanston, Ill., Oct. 16, 2021. Northwestern has fired Fitzgerald Monday, July 10, 2023, amid a hazing scandal that called into question his leadership of the program and damaged the university's reputation after it mishandled its response to the allegations. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (Nam Y. Huh, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Northwestern has been added to a long list of American universities to face a scandal in athletics and may eventually join the trend of making large payouts following allegations of sexual abuse.

A former Wildcats football player filed the first lawsuit against Pat Fitzgerald and members of the school’s leadership Tuesday, seeking damages stemming from a hazing scandal that cost the former football coach his job.

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Here is a look at other schools that have had sexual-related scandals in athletics:

— The University of Michigan last year had a financial payout of $490 million for more than 1,000 people who say they were sexually assaulted by the late sports doctor Robert Anderson.

Ohio State University agreed in 2020 to more than $46 million in settlements for more than 185 people who alleged sexual abuse from team doctor Richard Strauss.

— Dartmouth College in New Hampshire announced in 2019 that it had settled a federal lawsuit for $14 million with nine women who sued the Ivy League school over allegations that it ignored years of harassment and assault by former psychology department professors.

— Michigan State University’s $500 million agreement in 2018 was to settle claims of more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by Larry Nassar, who also was a doctor for USA Gymnastics.

— Baylor University in Texas settled a federal Title IX lawsuit in 2018 that was brought by a former volleyball player who alleged that she was drugged and gang-raped by at least four football players in 2012. The terms of the settlement with the woman, identified in court papers only as Jane Doe, were not disclosed.

— Penn State University paid out more than $100 million in 2017 to more than 40 people who said they were sexually abused by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

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