What in the world is a Naked Slingshot and Bear Crawl?
The start of the football season is still a couple of months away, but there is already trouble brewing for the Northwestern football team.
A former player, who wishes to remain anonymous, has come forward with disturbing hazing allegations against the program.
Now, he has shared a damning photo with ESPN, revealing a whiteboard in the locker room with a list of punishments including “naked slingshots” and “naked bear crawls.”
“The former Northwestern player sent ESPN a screenshot of a whiteboard, which he says was in the middle of the locker room,” Rittenberg wrote. “Image is headlined ‘SHREK’S LIST’ and includes a list of players’ names and several bulleted items, including ‘naked slingshot’ and ‘naked bear crawls.’
“We are not publishing the photo, but former player said: ‘That was in the middle of the locker room for all eyes to see throughout my entire time in the program. Every single player in this program from 2020 to 2023 knows what Shrek is and knows about the hazing that occurs.’”
We are not publishing the photo, but former player said: "That was in the middle of the locker room for all eyes to see throughout my entire time in the program. Every single player in this program from 2020 to 2023 knows what Shrek is and knows about the hazing that occurs."
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) July 9, 2023
University officials have acknowledged that coach Pat Fitzgerald may face additional punishment beyond his two-week off-season suspension that was issued on Friday following a six-month investigation into hazing practices within the team.
The allegations were reported by anonymous players to the university’s student newspaper, “The Daily Northwestern,” detailing various hazing rituals, including one called “running” and claims of coerced sexual acts.
“It’s just a really abrasive and barbaric culture that has permeated throughout that program for years on end now,” an anonymous player explained of the hazing in the article.
According to the article, freshmen were subjected to being “ran” by upperclassmen while wearing masks, as well as participating in a ritual known as the “car wash” where naked players would spin at shower entrances, forcing others to rub up against them.
The hazing culture within the program has been described as abrasive and barbaric by an anonymous player. Some players believe that Coach Fitzgerald may have been aware of the hazing, pointing out that the hazers used a clapping gesture similar to one used by the coach during practice.
It is unclear if Northwestern will take more severe action, such as firing Fitzgerald, who has been coaching the Wildcats since 2006.