Northwestern football interim coach David Braun isn't taking any chances in the 2023 NCAA season.
Braun said he and his staff will take a “very calculated” approach with team bonding activities moving forward, per ESPN senior writer Adam Rittenberg.
“We've had an opportunity to go through extensive education when it comes to hazing, as a team and as a staff. That education will continue. We're being very mindful of making sure that we find ways to allow this team to build and become cohesive and have fun in team meetings with music, making sure that this isn't an environment where it's just business. This team needs to come together,” Braun said on Wednesday.
“We're very calculated in the fact that we've got to make sure that we move forward in an appropriate manner,” Braun added.
Northwestern interim coach David Braun: “This team has done an incredible job showing a great deal of resolve.” pic.twitter.com/B1RbDL1pzM
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) August 16, 2023
Northwestern football's calculated approach has been working so far
Northwestern football players have been playing video games and basketball and having meals together as part of their team building activities. Braun said team meals have become more important in improving team camaraderie.
Northwestern football quarterback Ben Bryant and his teammates have been enjoying the fun off-field environment.
“Our staff has done a really good job of putting that together, and everyone's all excited and cheering each other on. I think that's been a really fun thing for us,” Bryant said.
David Braun's message comes in the wake of shocking hazing allegations former Northwestern football players brought up in recent weeks. The team's coaching staff and players underwent required anti-hazing training prior to team practice on August 3.
The school fired head coach Pat Fitzgerald following the hazing allegations on July 10. Braun replaced him on an interim basis three days later. The program hired Braun for its defensive coordinator position in January.
David Braun has done a commendable job keeping things under the radar after the scandal broke out several weeks ago. Let's hope this continues as Northwestern football seeks to repair its tarnished legacy.