Wheeler's mom says staff should be fired

Rashidi Wheeler's mother suggested on Friday that Northwestern should fire head football coach Randy Walker and athletics director Rick Taylor, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I think they need to get rid of the athletic department they have there and put some responsible people in there, people with integrity, someone with a sense of humanity," Linda Will told the Times.

Will has been very outspoken about Northwestern's handling of the death of her son, who passed away Aug. 3 after collapsing on the practice field while running a conditioning drill. Friday was the first time, however, that Will called for the dismissal of Walker.

Wheeler's family has filed a lawsuit against the university, Walker and others. Walker and Taylor declined to comment to the Times on Friday.

Will had said previously that she would attend Friday's game against UNLV, which Northwestern won 37-28. However, she did not. "I didn't want my presence to be a distraction, for one thing," she said in a telephone interview with the Times. She also said to go would be "too painful."

Will told the newspaper she has been very unhappy with the school's handling of her son's death. She said no one from the school rode in the ambulance that rushed her son to the hospital on the day he died. She learned of his death not from a school official, but from one of his teammates. And no one from the football staff bothered to meet her at the airport when she arrived in Chicago to recover her son's body, she said. "So callous," she told the Times.

The drill that Aug. 3 afternoon carried on while team trainer Tory Aggeler and then paramedics tended to Wheeler. Will said her son's pleas for help were ignored. "To continue the drill while someone is laying there dying -- they still have their jobs?" Will said Friday. "They're entrusted with the care of these young men?"