Make no mistake: The damage of a graphic hazing scandal to the Lake Zurich football program is more than reputational. It’s taking a major chunk out of the budget for the school’s athletic department, too.
As reported by the Daily Herald from suburban Chicago, the law firm which was hired to investigate the allegations of hazing billed more than $50,o00 to the district related strictly to its work on the hazing case in the month of November. The investigation was not concluded by Nov. 31, so it is almost a fait accompli that the total cost for the investigation will rise, and likely by a significant amount.
The law firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick and Kohn billed the Lake Zurich school district for 235 hours of legal work, almost exclusively at a rate of $295.00 per hour. Do the math and you find that Lake Zurich was signing over close to $51,000 to have an outside firm investigate the hazing allegations, which eventually resulted in an explosive report and the dismissal of the team’s coaching staff. Most of the charges billed in November focused on telephone conferences between attorneys and witnesses and school officials.
Of course, the findings of the initial investigation have led to a federal lawsuit against District 95, which includes Lake Zurich, on accusations that the district allowed hazing and bullying to occur in the school’s locker room.
Naturally, that means the district is likely to require further legal assistance from outside counsel, which will result in thousands more in charges, providing additional proof of the true financial wreckage that comes from hazing after the fact.