Home News Former Northwestern AD speaks out after being named a defendant in hazing lawsuit

Former Northwestern AD speaks out after being named a defendant in hazing lawsuit

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Former Northwestern AD speaks out after being named a defendant in hazing lawsuit

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A former Northwestern athletic director is speaking out for the first time after a hazing scandal continues to play out where he worked for 13 years.

Jim Phillips, the current commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, released a statement on Wednesday after he was named in a lawsuit being brought by a former Wildcats football player on Tuesday.

This comes as the school continues to deal with the fallout of the allegations of hazing in that program along with accusations of mistreatment in other sports. This led to the ouster of longtime football head coach Pat Fitzgerald, baseball coach Jim Foster, and the filing of lawsuits by former players against Northwestern while others have retained the services of attorneys for possible litigation.

Here is Phillips’ statement through the ACC’s media relations.

“This has been a difficult time for the Northwestern University community, a place that my entire family called home. Over my thirty-year career in intercollegiate athletics, my highest priority has always been the health and safety of all student-athletes. Hazing is completely unacceptable anywhere, and my heart goes out to anyone who carries the burden of having been mistreated. Any allegation that I ever condoned or tolerated inappropriate conduct against student-athletes is absolutely false. I will vigorously defend myself against any suggestion to the contrary.”

A native of Chicago who graduated from the University of Illinois, Phillips arrived at Northwestern after a four-year run as the athletic director at Northern Illinois University. He remained in that position until 2021 when he was hired as commissioner of the ACC, which is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

During a news conference on Tuesday, attorneys Patrick A. Salvi II and Parker Stinar announced that their second suit against Northwestern this week on behalf of a “John Doe II” would name Phillips as a co-defendant.

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