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

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

The Daily Northwestern


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Daily file photo by Seeger Gray
Former quarterback Lloyd Yates is the first player to attach his name to a lawsuit against Northwestern University.

Former Northwestern quarterback Lloyd Yates filed a lawsuit against Northwestern Monday, alleging that the University was negligent in identifying and responding to alleged incidents of hazing on the football team.

Though the only named defendant was Northwestern, the lawsuit alleges that Associate Head Coach Matt MacPherson witnessed naked pull-ups along with “other forms of hazing.”

The filing comes after three former football players sued Northwestern over similar allegations last week, and a former volleyball player sued over hazing allegations Monday. 

Attorney Ben Crump said this lawsuit is the first in a series of lawsuits, and that he plans on filing over 30 individual lawsuits in the “coming week and months.” Yates is the first player to name himself as a plaintiff, as the three other former players who sued last week are listed as John Doe 1, 2 and 3. 

“I hope three things will come out of this lawsuit,” Yates said Monday morning. “I want justice for all the victims of this horrific hazing. I want closure for myself and hundreds of other Northwestern football players who suffered in silence…Lastly, I want protection for future players. Northwestern failed to protect us.”

Yates, a member of the football team from 2015 to 2017, is the first player to file a complaint with notable attorneys Ben Crump and Steven Levin. Crump told The Daily Thursday that he was representing 15 players at that time, but Lloyd’s lawsuit was filed single-plaintiff. 

Other players are named as people impacted by abusive behavior in the lawsuit, including former linebackers Simba Short, who played from 2015 to 2016, and Warren Miles Long, who played from 2013 to 2017.

The filing alleges that Yates was subject to a hazing ritual known as “running,” in which a younger member of the team is forcibly dry-humped by older members, along with other commonly alleged hazing practices like naked pull-ups. 

It says that upperclassmen players hinted at “running” during the summer before his freshman year – a process, the lawsuit describes, of “desensitizing” players to hazing before the season started. 

The lawsuit also contains a number of previously unreported rituals, including one in which younger players are forced to tell embarrassing or sexually-revealing stories while traveling on a bus to games or practices. The lawsuit says coaches intentionally avoided the bus, dubbed “Bus Two,” to maintain deniability about actions onboard.

A separate former player, who initially reported hazing to the University in November, previously made similar claims about “Bus Two” to The Daily. Although he had no personal experience aboard “Bus Two,” he said he remembers Fitzgerald making reference to “Bus Two” and its onboard antics during a team practice.

In another newly-reported ritual, players were made to drink excessive amounts of alcohol in a practice known as the “Dredge,” or drinking edge. Often, players would end in vomiting and unconsciousness, according to the filed complaint. Participation was not optional, because refusing could lead to a player being put on the list to be “ran.”

“To all the young athletes out there, I urge you to stand up,” Yates said. “Stand up for yourself even when the odds are against you, for I’ve come to realize that no one else will.”

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