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Duke football offensive line coach Adam Cushing implicated in Northwestern hazing lawsuit

Adam Cushing has been an assistant coach with the Blue Devils since 2021.
Adam Cushing has been an assistant coach with the Blue Devils since 2021.

On Wednesday, former Northwestern offensive lineman Ramon Diaz announced that he was filing a lawsuit against the university, alleging hazing and racial mistreatment while he was in the program. He implicates current Duke offensive line coach and run game coordinator Adam Cushing — the tight ends coach in Evanston, Ill., when Diaz was a player — for being aware of the incidents but not publicly acting against them.

Diaz's allegations revolve around the abuse he suffered during his four years as a Wildcat, largely because of his Mexican heritage. The mistreatment he highlights includes "racist, embarrassing, degrading, and harassing remarks" made by former assistant coaches Bret Ingalls and James Patton toward Diaz and other players, as well as sexualized acts similar to those alleged by other players.

Although Diaz did not directly accuse Cushing of mistreatment, he said that Cushing was often in Ingalls' presence when he made the aforementioned comments and "could have said anything," but didn't.

“Adam Cushing was there as well oftentimes, and joined in the laughter,” Diaz said to reporters at a Wednesday press conference in Evanston.

Cushing joined the Blue Devils in January 2021 after three years as the head coach at Eastern Illinois and 15 years in various roles at Northwestern from 2004-2018, including 10 years as offensive line coach. He was also one of the Wildcats' recruiting coordinators from 2008-2011.

Diaz is the ninth former Northwestern player to come forward against the university for allegations of mistreatment and hazing that, after an internal investigation, resulted in the firing of former Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who has repeatedly denied knowing about the hazing incidents. 

No current players or coaches, including Cushing, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Fitzgerald, Northwestern president Michael Schill, former president Morton Schapiro, athletic director Derrick Gragg and former athletic director and current ACC commissioner Jim Phillips are included in the lawsuit’s list of defendants.

Duke Athletics declined The Chronicle's request for comment.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. 


Andrew Long profile
Andrew Long | Sports Editor

Andrew Long is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.

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