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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern Baseball Coach Jim Foster accused of creating “abusive” environment, causing transfers

Daily file photo by Mika Ellison

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Northwestern Baseball Coach Jim Foster created an “abusive” environment in NU’s baseball program. 

The coach has been at NU for one year, and fifteen players are currently in the transfer portal to leave the baseball team. Some experts are predicting the team will not fill next year’s roster, while Pitching Coach Jon Strauss, Hitting Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Dusty Napoleon and Director of Operations Chris Beacom all stepped away from the program this year. 

Former players, alumni and others first alerted university administrators about problematic behavior from the head coach last fall, according to the Tribune. A formal investigation into Foster’s coaching was opened in November 2022 after coaches submitted an HR report.

Coaches did so only after repeated attempts to speak with athletic director Derrick Gragg, according to 670 The Score, a Chicago sports radio show. 

The internal NU investigation into Foster’s conduct found that he “engaged in bullying and abusive behavior, according to HR documents obtained by the Tribune. 670 The Score also reported Foster was found to have made an inappropriate comment to a woman on staff.

NU’s investigation found that Foster said a female manager could not be on the field because he didn’t “want guys staring at her ass,” according to 670. It is not clear what actions the University took against Foster after their findings, though the Tribune reported these claims were initially brought to University President Michael Schill and Gragg. 

670 The Score reported there was no monitoring of Foster by the school after Northwestern’s investigation concluded, finding him responsible for only some allegations. The HR report that prompted the investigation also alleged Foster engaged in racist rhetoric and discouraged baseball players from seeking medical attention for their injuries, according to 670.  

But, complaints about Foster are not new. The Tribune reported that Foster’s leadership style could be “cold and combative ” and the coach has never had an assistant coach stay longer than three seasons. 

Gragg and the Northwestern Athletics Department are also currently under fire for their response to hazing allegations in Northwestern’s football program.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @avanidkalra

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