Northwestern: Did Pat Fitzgerald do the right thing to do?

Did Northwestern ultimately do the right thing in firing football coach Fitzgerald?

In this week's “Polling Stations,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, it was the No. 1 topic. 1. Voters supported the firing by a wide margin, despite Fitzgerald's claims that he was not aware of allegations of hazing in his program that independent investigations found may have taken place.

“He is responsible for the health and well-being of his student-athletes,” commented @FauxMcCaskey, “and the NCAA said so about the recent hazing incident. Not knowing is no excuse.”

“All the coaches and support personnel work with the team and nobody knows anything? FORGET IT!” @Bearstradamus_1 wrote.

But not everyone agrees.

“He went from a two week suspension after an independent investigation to being sacked overnight? Seems a bit fast,” @00723maui offered.

And from @hollyplus5: “Not the right move. No crime was committed, and he is probably in the best position to clean up the mess.”

We also asked if Northwestern's $800 million stadium renovation plan was a good idea right now and if, in general, you care a lot about the Wildcats, little or nothing.

To the poll:

Poll No. 1: Did Northwestern ultimately do the right thing in firing football coach Pat Fitzgerald?

Results: The people have spoken. But it's still interesting to think about what would have happened if Fitzgerald's initial suspension — two weeks without pay, and late in the season, no less — showed more teeth. If he is penalized to miss, say, the first three games in September, will that be enough to calm this down? We'll never know.

Poll No. 2: Is Northwestern's planned $800 million stadium renovation a good idea right now?

Results: There is internal opposition within Northwestern from those who say the balance of spending between athletics (football in particular) and academics is not just that, but abysmal. And there's external opposition within the community from those who don't want loud late-night concerts and other road-clogging events and so on. Evanston may have lost his appetite.

Poll No. 3: In general, how much do you care about Northwestern football?

Results: And here you have it, the biggest problem of all. Northwest football is no big deal. have you?