Gaelin Elmore opens up about Minnesota players’ boycott

Sep 24, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Gaelin Elmore (87) recovers a fumble from Colorado State Rams quarterback Collin Hill (not pictured) in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of questions regarding the decision by players on Minnesota’s football team to boycott all team activities prior to the Holiday Bowl. A lot of those questions still haven’t been answered.

But one of the Gophers’ leaders decided to let people in on the situation.

Minnesota’s Gaelin Elmore, a junior defensive lineman, opened up about the team’s decision to boycott with John Shipley of TwinCities.com.

The boycott was in response to a decision that suspended 10 players because of a sexual assault incident that occurred on Sept. 2. But Elmore cited vague responses from Mark Coyle, Minnesota’s athletic director, and a lack of information as a major factor in the team’s decision.

Here’s an excerpt from Shipley’s piece, which can be read in full here:

We found out that Coyle was the one who handed out the suspensions. That was around the time where, publicly, he came out and said (Tracy) Claeys did it. We knew right away that he told Claeys he was going to do it, and Claeys, not being insubordinate, was like, “OK, you’ve made up your mind, I can’t do anything about it.” So, we knew that (Coyle) handed out the suspensions; we knew he told the public that our coach either agreed or did it himself, so that had us upset.

Players eventually decided to abandon the boycott and went on to play in the Holiday Bowl. They knocked off Washington State 17-12 in the contest.

The boycott, along with an ill-advised tweet, ultimately cost Claeys his job despite a 9-4 season and the bowl victory.

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Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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