Northwestern women's soccer coach resigns

Updated: June 21, 2006, 2:57 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern women's soccer coach Jenny Haigh, whose team was embarrassed by pictures of hazing posted on the Internet and disciplined this spring, resigned Tuesday.

In May, a Web site displayed pictures of Northwestern soccer players clad only in T-shirts and underwear -- some with blindfolds on and others with their hands tied behind their backs. Other women had words or pictures scrawled on their bodies and clothes, and it appeared some were drinking alcohol.

After an investigation by the school, some members of the team are being placed on probation. The entire team will be required to participate in a community service project and attend educational sessions on hazing.

Several players will serve suspensions from regular-season games during the upcoming season, which begins Aug. 25. Additional disciplinary action will be taken against several more team members.

"As I have stated previously, Northwestern will not tolerate hazing of any kind," director of athletics Mark Murphy said earlier this month. "When it discovers allegations of hazing or other violations of student conduct regulations, the university will respond quickly and take the appropriate actions."

The university wouldn't comment further about the hazing other than to say it happened in August and involved underage drinking and "additional inappropriate behavior."

The team issued a written apology in May for the "negative attention, press and controversy" it caused the school, though it didn't address the photographs specifically.

In the release announcing the resignation, neither Haigh nor Murphy mentioned the hazing.

"I would like to thank Northwestern University and Mark Murphy for providing me with the opportunity to serve as the head women's soccer coach," Haigh said. "I appreciated my time and experience at Northwestern very much."

Haigh led Northwestern to a 38-46-10 record in five seasons as head coach. She had her best season in 2004 when the Wildcats finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten with a 5-4-1 mark and a 10-8-2 record overall. It was NU's first winning season in the Big Ten since 1998.

"I would like to thank Jenny for her contributions to Northwestern University and our women's soccer program over the past five years," Murphy said. "We wish her and her family the best."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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