Pat Fitzgerald is exploring legal options after firing Northwestern for a reason: an attorney

A legal battle between Northwestern and its former football coach could unravel after it was revealed that Pat Fitzgerald was fired for a reason.

Fitzgerald’s attorney, Dan Webb, told ESPN that the university’s general counsel told him Fitzgerald’s termination was for cause after Northwestern let him go Monday.

The dismissal came after new allegations surfaced in a weekend report from The Daily Northwestern — the school’s student newspaper — about details surrounding alleged incidents of hazing within the football program.

The university’s independent investigation, which ended before the new report, found that allegations of hazing were “largely substantiated”.

However, in a statement by university president Michael Schell announcing Fitzgerald’s expulsion, Schell said the investigation found no evidence that Fitzgerald knew about the harassment.

This is where part of Webb’s problems lies with how to handle the situation.

“I can’t understand how you can terminate someone for a reason when they do that [Northwestern] They admitted that their attorney had no evidence that my client knew anything at all, about any alleged harassing behavior,” Webb told ESPN.

“If you ever bring that to a jury, the jury will have a hard time believing you can terminate someone for a cause when they know nothing about [the incidents]. “

Webb told the outlet that he is still looking into legal strategies and no lawsuit has been filed

But Webb believes Northwestern committed two “major” breaches of the contract.

The attorney claims that the school breached Fitzgerald’s employment contract and that it breached an oral agreement about the punishment Fitzgerald would have received for the prank allegations.

According to Webb, the university’s general attorney Stephanie Graham told Fitzgerald and his agent, Brian Harlan, that the two-week suspension he received on Friday would be all punishment he would receive.

“Under Illinois law, an oral agreement is a contract,” Webb said. They had all the facts available to them. They thought the appropriate punishment was a two-week suspension without pay. This was their verdict. They made the decision. We agreed to go along with it, and issued a statement in support of them.

“So, now they have violated a verbal agreement and greatly damaged his reputation. And without reason. This whole chain of events by Northwestern, I just can’t make sense of it.”

Northwestern has not said whether it will hesitate to pay the remaining salary that Fitzgerald has left on the 10-year contract he signed in 2021.

Webb said there was no new information in the reports over the weekend that was not discovered during the investigation.

On Sunday, Fitzgerald appointed Webb to represent him after class.

“Last Friday Northwestern and I came to a mutual agreement as to the appropriate resolution after a thorough investigation by[attorney Maggie Hickey],” the former coach said in a statement.[المحاميةماجيهيكي”نصتهذهالاتفاقيةعلىتعليقالخدمةلمدةأسبوعين[attorneyMaggieHickey”theformercoachsaidinastatement“Thisagreementstipulatedatwo-weeksuspension

“So I was surprised to learn that the president of Northwestern had unilaterally canceled our agreement without any prior notice and subsequently terminated my employment.”

Fitzgerald’s attorney added Tuesday that he would be open to an out-of-court decision, but claimed the “reputational” damage to Fitzgerald.

Webb added that the case would involve a “significant reputational issue,” and that could lead to a “very significant tort case.”

A day after Fitzgerald was fired, it was revealed that Northwestern’s baseball coach, Jim Foster, is now under fire after a college investigation found evidence the first-year coach “engaged in bullying and abusive behavior,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

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