Northwestern Football Players Skipping Big Ten Media Day

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The hazing scandal that has rocked Northwestern athletics has been one of the biggest stories in college sports over the past month and will continue to be as the season approaches. Big Ten Media Days are coming to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this week. Wildcats football players designated as representatives for the program will not be.

Bryce Gallager, Ron Heard II and Bryce Kirtz just released a statement that explains they do not intend to attend.

"After talking with our parents, our teammates and Coach Braun, we have made the decision to not attend Big Ten Media Day," it reads. "This was very difficult since we were excited about the opportunity to participate in this great Big Ten tradition, and to talk about the game we love and the season ahead. But given the recent events involving the Northwestern football program, we did not want our participation to be dominated by the hazing issue and steal the focus away from football and the upcoming season,. We are proud members of the NU football program and want our on-field performance and off-field conduct to always reflect the values of the university and our fans. Go Cats!!!"

This is complete understandable. These three players were not the malevolent actors and should not bear the burden of speaking for the program. The situation would surely dominate the conversation and these guys would essentially be human shields. Any answer they gave would be scrutinized and it feels as though they'd be in a no-win situation.

There will surely be some who paint this as trying to skirt some sort of responsibility but that would be totally unfair because it's not incumbent on the players who have been thrust into the situation. And maybe not giving more oxygen to the situation may be helpful to the team.