Ex-NU football player Lloyd Yates (at podium) discusses his lawsuit.

Jane Doe #1 is joining John Doe #1, #2, and #3.

And Lloyd Yates is joining them all.

Yates, who was on Wildcat football team from 2015-17, said Monday that he is suing his alma mater to “finally hold Northwestern accountable” for the degrading and humiliating hazing that he and many of his teammates were forced to undergo.

Yates’ suit is the first of five so far to have a plaintiff’s actual name included. The former quarterback and wide receiver said he wants “justice” for the athletes, closure for those who have “suffered in silence,” and “protection for future players” who may come forward.

“Northwestern failed to protect us,” Yates added.

One of Yates’ attorneys, Margaret Battersby Black, said the 52-page complaint outlines how “extreme, ritualized sexual hazing was ingrained for decades at Northwestern,” with actions such as the “car wash” (running a naked gantlet in the shower), “naked rope swing,” “naked pull-ups,” and other physical and emotional mistreatment.

The suit also alleges that a couple of unnamed assistant coaches were actually hazed as part of the process.

“We were conditioned to believe that this behavior was normal,” in college athletics, Yates told a Chicago news conference on Monday, accompanied by his legal team and by his parents.

“It was like brainwashing,” so no one complained, he added.

Related: NU president defends student athletes

While Northwestern, former head football coach Pat Fitzgerald, and other current and former NU officials are listed as defendants, none of the defendants are former football players who actually carried out the hazing.

“We were all victims,” Yates explained.

Yates’ father, Dr. William Yates (an NU undergraduate and medical school alumnus), said he had “no idea” of how his son and other football players were “exploited and sexually harrassed in a way that’s hard for me to describe.”

Lloyd Yates’ father, Dr. Wiliam Yates, at podium. Attorney Ben Crump is to his right. William’s wife/Lloyd’s mother Isqure is next to Crump.

Yates’ lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by national civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, and Chicago attorney Steve Levin and his firm.

The Jane Doe #1 volleyball case is from attorneys Patrick Salvi II and co-counsel Parker Stinar, who filed the other three John Doe cases involving former football players.

The volleyball litigation, also in Cook County, still needs a judge to allow filing as Jane Doe. Once that happens, the document will officially be processed.

In a statement, attorney Stinar said “This is the first lawsuit against Northwestern University on behalf of a female athlete,” which, along with the football lawsuits, shows “institutional failures at Northwestern, shedding light on a corrupt Athletic Department.”

Head volleyball coach Shane Davis “enabled a toxic culture and failed to adequately enforce anti-hazing protocols,” the attorneys’ release states, claiming the volleyball program had “an enabled coach and an enabled culture.”

Northwestern has promised a series of steps to combat hazing in the future, including “working to ensure we have in place appropriate accountability for our athletic department,” and mechanisms to detect threats to student athletes, according to a statement from NU spokesperson Jon Yates.

While the university has not responded to specific hazing allegations in the football players’ lawsuits, Yates did issue a statement about the volleyball situation.

In March, 2021, the statement says, a student volleyball player made an allegation of hazing, and a university investigation “confirmed that hazing had taken place.”

During the investigation, NU “suspended the team’s coach and coaching staff …. Appropriate disciplinary action was taken,” including “cancellation of two games and implementation of mandatory anti-hazing training.”

Yates notes that the volleyball incident took place before University President Michael Schill and Athletics Director Derrick Gragg were in office, but “each is taking it seriously,” and Gragg “met with the student at her request last year.”

Based on the lawsuit, NU’s response was not acceptable to Jane Doe #1, who is alleging extreme physical exertion as punishment, which led to the need for medical attention.

Davis remains as head volleyball coach.

Head football coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired. Fitzgerald has denied any knowledge of hazing, and his attorney has suggested that a breach of contract lawsuit against Northwestern is a possibility.

More lawsuits from other former players are on the horizon as well.

Attorney Crump said he and his colleagues expect to file more than 30 more individual lawsuits in the coming weeks and months.

“This,” Crump said, “is the ‘Me Too’ moment for college sports.”

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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