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Dec
17
2016

Minnesota Football Players Suspended then Threaten and End Boycott of Holiday Bowl

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Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.

Yeah, so stay home and read us over here at @AllSportsDACC.

So, in the past couple of days, Minnesota suspended ten football players for an alleged sexual assault incident.  More from @ESPN below:

The suspensions resulted from the 10 players’ alleged roles in a reported gang rape that occurred on Sept. 2, only hours after the Gophers’ season opener against Oregon State in Minneapolis. A female Minnesota student told police that several men sexually assaulted her at a football player’s apartment. Five of the suspended Minnesota players told police that they had consensual sex with the woman.

No criminal charges were filed against the players, but a school investigation concluded this week the athletes violated university policy. On Thursday, players said they wouldn’t practice or play unless their teammates’ suspensions were revoked.

So on December 16, 2016, Minnesota football players boycotted all football activities until they got answers that they thought were satisfactory from the University.  But today, that boycott ended.

We’ve written about Title IX issues and the problem of sexual assault on campus on many occasions here at @AllSportsDACC (see our many posts on Baylor and their unconscionable environment for sexual assault victims).

Minnesota had a major problem with a prior athletic director, Norwood Teague (many of our VCU readers know him), who resigned after sexual harassment allegations. Keep in mind that only last year this was one of the top administrators at Minnesota.  The next athletic director was hired to clean up that culture – so of course, when the allegations came in about the football players and then the associated Title IX hearing, of course they were going to be suspended.

It’s too early for me to pass judgment because there hasn’t been much published on the details of the allegations.  But, fair or not, major college athletes are going to be watched and viewed more publicly than other students – and can’t put themselves in vulnerable positions.   We’ve written about how institutions should address sexual violence on campus, including some recommendations.  I wonder how much Minnesota has done here – that’s a question I’d like to ask their administration.

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