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ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips Named Defendant in Northwestern Complaint



ACC commissioner Jim Phillips

ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips is listed as a defendant in a new Northwestern football complaint. 

ESPN writer Adam Rittenberg announced Wednesday that a second ex-Northwestern football player is taking action against the school. An unknown former athlete who played for the Wildcats from 2018-2022 has filed a lawsuit in connection to the program’s hazing allegations. 

Phillips was the athletic director at Northwestern from 2008 to 2021 before taking over the ACC job. He was also the AD of Northern Illinois from 2004 to 2008 before joining Northwestern. He signed a three-year extension with the conference in April and dealt with members exploring the possibility of departing the ACC for alternative options and leagues.

Pat Fitzgerald was fired as Wildcats head coach on July 11 due to the scandal. He was the second-longest tenured Big Ten headman before being relieved of his duties after 17 seasons. Northwestern won two Big Ten West titles in 2018 and 2020, with Fitzgerald and Phillips in command of the program. 

One other player filed a suit against Northwestern and Fitzgerald shortly before the second player took action against the two parties. Northwestern has not named a new head football coach before Big Ten media days on July 26 and 27.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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