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Northwestern University has hired an outside law firm to look into “an allegation of potential hazing in the football program.”

In a statement provided Wednesday to Evanston Now, NU spokesperson Jon Yates says “While we do not yet know if the allegations are true, hazing is prohibited by University policy, and we take these claims very seriously.”

Yates adds that the health, safety, and well-being of students is the school’s “first priority.”

Yates notes that the investigation is in its very early stages, and will be “rigorously fair to everyone in this process.”

He says the inquiry will focus on gathering facts, and “will not jump to conclusions.”

NU says that the university strongly supports those who come forward with concerns, and encourages anyone with such concerns to come forward.

Attorney Maggie Hickey, of the firm Arent Fox Schiff, will be the independent investigator.

She will be expected to speak with players, coaches, and staff.

Yates says the purpose of Hickey’s investigation “is to find the underlying truth of the allegations — including the scope of any potential hazing or harmful culture.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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