Current, former Gophers back P.J. Fleck following news story of alleged player mistreatment at Minnesota
Several current and former Minnesota football players are throwing support behind P.J. Fleck after a Minneapolis news station ran a story alleging the head coach of player mistreatment during practices.
Monday night, WCCO-CBS in Minnesota ran a story investigating allegations of “unnecessary roughness” within the Golden Gophers’ football program. A former professor at the university and a handful of ex-players accused of Fleck and the staff of running unnecessarily intense practices which resulted in serious injuries.
“Lots of guys coming in casts, braces, out of nowhere,” former professor Jason Stahl told WCCO. “Physical and mental health degradation. I saw it in the classroom.”
In the story, WCCO said Fleck, as well as athletic director Mark Coyle, declined the opportunity to be interviewed for the story.
After the story ran on WCCO’s website and television, a number of current and former members of the Minnesota football program voiced their support for Fleck. Here are some of the responses:
— Tanner Morgan (@T_morg2) May 11, 2021
Hard is not always bad. Love this team, love this family. Some of my favorite memories have come from the culture of this program.〽️ pic.twitter.com/mzmuCSaQvS
— Nathan Boe〽️ (@nathanboe1122) May 11, 2021
Being able to play for coach Fleck and be in the ROW THE BOAT culture everyday is a blessing! Grateful to be a part of a program where everyone truly cares about each other! Love this FAMILY! #RTB
— Derik LeCaptain (@derik_lecaptain) May 11, 2021
It is meant to be hard to help us learn to persevere through later hardships! That does NOT mean it is bad! There is every bit of support we could ever need offered to us. Be grateful for it.
— Blaise Andries (@BlaiseAndries) May 11, 2021
Love this team! Love this culture! Coach Fleck and staff treat every player as their own son! RTB!
— Mariano Sori-Marin (@marianosori_) May 11, 2021
— Conner Olson (@connerolson6) May 11, 2021
These “accusations” about the gopher football program being “too hard” are actually laughable. I owe so much of the man I am today to @Coach_Fleck and to @GopherFootball . Straight up, some people just aren’t cut out for college football. That story is ABSURD.
— Carter Coughlin (@Cmoe34) May 11, 2021
— Ko Kieft (@KoKieft) May 11, 2021
Fleck will be entering his fifth season as the leader at Minnesota in 2021. In his first four years, the Golden Gophers are 26-19 with a 15-19 record in B1G play.
Minnesota played in back-to-back bowl games in 2018 and 2019, defeating Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl in 2018 to finish 7-6 and beating Auburn in the Outback Bowl the following season to end with an impressive 11-2 mark, the best year under Fleck.
Last season, the Gophers finished with a 3-4 record.