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Pat Fitzgerald's attorney seeking December trial date - ESPN

The attorney for former Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is seeking a December trial date for Fitzgerald's wrongful termination lawsuit against the university, primarily because Fitzgerald wants to avoid sitting out a third season before coaching again and the date the judge had proposed is April 2025.

During a virtual court hearing Tuesday in Chicago, attorney Dan Webb said Fitzgerald, who was fired July 10 by Northwestern president Michael Schill in the wake of hazing allegations within the program, would not be rehired until his case is resolved.

Fitzgerald appeared in the virtual hearing alongside Webb.

Fitzgerald did not coach college football last fall and has not been hired to a college staff for the 2024 season. In October, Fitzgerald filed a lawsuit against Northwestern and Schill for breach of contract and defamation in which he sought more than $130 million in lost earnings as well as reputational and punitive damages.

«I'm told by experts that if he misses that third season, then it's going to have a severe impact on his ability to ever get a chance to get any kind of comparable coaching job,» Webb said. «It's just the way football coaching [hiring] works. Football coaching decisions are made by teams in December, so in December of 2024 and January 2025, there will be decisions made on who's going to coach in the 2025 season.

»I was trying to rescue his ability to compete in 2025."

Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel J. Kubasiak had proposed April 2025 as a possible date to try the case but did not set a trial date Tuesday. Northwestern attorney Reid Schar said the 2025 date is «aggressive» but more achievable than December, citing the large number of discovery documents. Schar said that about 700,000 documents