College, Sports

Minnesota players end their boycott, will play in Holiday Bowl

Wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky, center, flanked by quarterback Mitch Leidner, left, and tight end Duke Anyanwu, and with the rest of the team standing behind them, read the statement on behalf of the players.   ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com 

Members of the University of Minnesota football team stood in the Nagurski Football Complex with Drew Wolitarsky as he read a statement Thursday night, December 15, 2016 that players would not be participating in any football activities until a resolution could be found regarding the suspension of 10 of their teammates.

Minnesota Golden Gophers players arranged late into the night with school chairpersons and reported Saturday morning in a news meeting that the bycott of football exercises has finished. The group will start to get ready to play in the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl against Washington State.

The players started the boycott on account of the suspension of 10 players blamed for taking an interest in a rape. College President Eric Kaler and athletic chief Mark Coyle met with a gathering of football players Friday night, the college said, as they attempted to discover shared opinion. The school declined the players’ demand to restore the suspended players.

Here is a piece of the players’ announcement:

“As a team, we understand that what has occurred these past few days and playing football for the University of Minnesota, is larger than just us. …

“We now ask that you, the members of the media, our fans, and the general public hold all of us accountable for ensuring that our teammates are treated fairly, along with any and all victims of sexual assault. We also ask that the public dialogue related to the apparent lack of due process in a university system is openly discussed and evaluated.

“As football players, we realize that we speak to this University and this state and that we are held to a higher standard. We need to express our most profound appreciation to our guiding staff thus numerous others for their support amid this troublesome time, and we trust that our fans and group comprehend why we took the activities that we did.

“Our thoughts and prayers are for the well-being of the woman involved in the original incident, and for our ten teammates to ensure that they are treated fairly. We look forward to representing the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl in a way that makes all of you proud.”

The players said they got affirmations from the college the suspended colleagues will get a reasonable hearing, helping them consent to lift their sexual assault.The players additionally were guaranteed the school will “indicate bolster for our group and the character appeared by the colossal dominant part of our players,” while attempting to highlight the issue of rape.

Said Kaler: “I’m very pleased that the football team has realized the opportunity to represent the university and come out strong in support of the victims of sexual violence. I have promised a fair hearing, and I attend to have that be true.”No criminal accusations were recorded against the players for what happened on Sept. 2 after a season-opening win over Oregon State. Four players were at first suspended for three recreations before this season while the police directed their examination. They were reestablished after a judge lifted a controlling request.

 

The school, notwithstanding, ruled the players damaged a school strategy received a year ago that characterizes rape as anything without a “clear and unambiguous” articulation of assent.

 

On Wednesday, the college declared the suspensions of those four players and six extra players. On Thursday, players said they wouldn’t practice or play unless their partners’ suspensions were repudiated.

University investigators wrote they discovered her record sounder than those of the blamed understudies. The agents inferred that few understudies had neglected to give full and truthful information.

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