Ex-Northwestern volleyball player becomes first female athlete to join hazing scandal lawsuits

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The Northwestern College hazing scandal continues to develop, as the primary feminine athlete – an ex-volleyball participant – has sued the college after alleging she was retaliated in opposition to after coming ahead to report mistreatment. 

Northwestern is going through quite a few lawsuits stemming from hazing allegations that embody sexual abuse to gamers, which features a new lawsuit by former quarterback Lloyd Yates that got here on Monday. 

However the volleyball participant exhibits that this scandal isn’t simply allegedly present in one program on campus. 


Shane Davis looks on court

Northwestern’s Shane Davis through the South Carolina Gamecocks recreation on Sept. 1, 2017, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos)

“It isn’t simply soccer gamers,” Parker Stinar, one of many volleyball participant’s attorneys, stated Monday by way of The Related Press. 

In her lawsuit, the place she is recognized as Jane Doe, the volleyball participant claims she was bodily harmed “to the purpose of requiring medical consideration” throughout a hazing incident in 2021.

The state of affairs occurred after volleyball coach Shane Davis and an assistant coach stated she needed to obtain punishment for violating the staff’s COVID-19 pointers after contracting the virus. She claims that she did observe the rules, however acquired a punishment anyway. 


She was pressured to run “suicides” within the gymnasium, and when she reached every line, needed to dive on the ground whereas her staff, coaches and gamers alike, watched. 

Campus police and the Northwestern athletic division had been made conscious of the incident, in response to the lawsuit. The participant additionally stated she met with athletic director Derrick Gragg to debate the volleyball program’s tradition, although nothing was carried out in response. 

Northwestern College spokesperson Jon Yates confirmed to Fox Information Digital that, in March 2021, the scholar made the hazing allegation on the volleyball staff. The teaching employees was later suspended following an investigation by the college. That discovered hazing did happen, main to 2 volleyball recreation cancellations and anti-hazing coaching turning into obligatory. 

Lloyd Yates speaks at podium

Former Northwestern soccer participant Lloyd Yates speaks Wednesday, July 19, 2023, alongside different former gamers, from left, Warren Miles Lengthy, Tom Carnifax and Simba Brief in regards to the abuse and hazing they are saying occurred in this system. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune Information Service by way of Getty Photos)

“Though this incident predated President [Michael] Schill’s and Athletic Director Gragg’s tenure on the College, every is taking it severely. Dr. Gragg met with the scholar at her request final 12 months, and as President Schill wrote in a message to the Northwestern group, the College is working to make sure we’ve in place applicable accountability for our athletic division,” Yates stated in an announcement given to Fox Information Digital. 

“This consists of the engagement of a agency to guage the sufficiency of our accountability mechanism and to detect threats to the welfare of our student-athletes. President Schill has additionally dedicated that we are going to look at the tradition of Northwestern Athletics and its relationship to the educational mission. These opinions might be carried out with suggestions and engagement of college, employees and college students, and the College will make the suggestions publicly obtainable.”

Yates’ case is the primary that comes ahead with a plaintiff’s identify and has feedback from different named gamers in it as effectively. Extra like this one is predicted to return quickly, with civil rights lawyer Ben Crump calling this faculty sports activities’ “Me Too” second. 

“That is the primary in a collection of lawsuits,” Crump stated, including greater than 30 might be filed within the coming weeks. 

“It’s an actual huge deal when these younger individuals have the braveness to take a stand and refuse to be victims anymore, refuse to have their voices silenced,” he defined. 


Crump was joined by a number of former Northwestern athletes throughout a press convention final week, the place he and co-counsel Steven M. Levin spoke with greater than 50 student-athletes, each female and male, who stated they’ve skilled hazing on the college. 

“It’s obvious to us that it’s a poisonous tradition that was rampant within the athletic division at Northwestern College,” Crump stated on the time. 

“And what they shared with us was clearly a sample and follow of a tradition that was predicated on bodily intimidation, harassment, discrimination, abuse, each mentally and sexually, and it was normalized.”

Volleyball on court

A volleyball on the courtroom previous to the Division I Mens Volleyball Championship between the UCLA Bruins and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at EagleBank Enviornment on Might 6, 2023, in Fairfax, Virginia. (Scott Taetsch/NCAA Photographs by way of Getty Photos)


Northwestern head soccer coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired after 17 seasons with the Wildcats following an impartial investigation that discovered him at fault over his “failure to know and stop vital hazing within the soccer program,” per an open letter written by Schill on July 10. 

Fox Information’ Paulina Dedaj and The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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