Northwestern Football Still Standing Behind Disgraced Ex-Coach Pat Fitzgerald With Customized Shirts

Big Ten Football Media Days
Big Ten Football Media Days / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Pat Fitzgerald was fired a month ago amid widespread hazing and sexual abuse allegations after nearly two decades as head coach of Northwestern's football program. An investigation by the university originally resulted in a two week suspension, but a series of stories by The Daily Northwestern full of details about the incidents finally convinced the school to fire Fitzgerald.

Anyway, after not addressing the media at Big Ten media day, the team is back at practice this week and some coaches and staff members are wearing shirts that feature Fitzgerald's No. 51 along with the slogan, "Cats Against the World."

This is sad and disgusting for anyone sporting one of these customized shirts. It's one step beyond FITZSTRONG bracelets.

First of all, he's not coming back. Ever. He embarrassed the school and he put kids in danger. There's nothing to celebrate or remember fondly. This is a signal to the rest of the country that none of that matters, but the Old Boys Club is still going strong at Northwestern where they went 1-11 last year (4-20 over the last two seasons) and that's something the new regime isn't ready to move on from.

UPDATE: We may have a controversy brewing. Interim head coach David Braun say it's not his job to censor anyone's free speech, while Northwestern athletic director Derrick Gragg said the shirts were inappropriate.