Northwestern continues to wrestle with the fallout from a hazing scandal under recently fired head coach Pat Fitzgerald. That scandal led to Northwestern firing Fitzgerald for cause with the head coach mulling his litigation options moving forward.

As of Monday morning, a group of former Wildcats have also lawyered up. In a statement on social media, Ben Crump Law announced a group of 8 former Wildcats has retained nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump with co-counsel Steven M. Levin of Levin & Perconti. The statement says conversations with other players are also ongoing.

“Whether the coaches at Northwestern approved or participated in the harassment of these players or not, they are responsible for allowing and enabling a toxic, disgusting, and damaging culture in their programs,” Crump said via the release. “Sadly, our research suggests that this kind of abuse of student-athletes may be far more common on college campuses than we know, because there is tremendous pressure to keep quiet. It’s time for a reckoning to protect young athletes.”

Levin spoke on the motives of the 8 former players and said the group is hoping to “validate the allegations of abuse” from the whistleblowers cited in The Daily Northwestern report:

“These former Northwestern football players are participating in this legal action because they want to support and validate the allegations of abuse made by the two players who spoke to the Daily Northwestern about the true nature of the so-called hazing. They believe that more stringent oversight and accountability are required in college athletics to prevent such abuses from happening to other players in the future,” said Levin. “The physical, emotional and sexual abuse not only violated Northwestern’s own policies, but also numerous laws, and worse, has led to irreparable harm, with some players even experiencing suicidal thoughts.”