Gophers threatening to boycott Holiday Bowl to protest suspensions
Things keep getting uglier for Tracy Claeys and company in Minneapolis.
According to the Star-Tribune, members of Minnesota’s football team held a players-only meeting to discuss the situation regarding the 10 players that had been suspended from the team earlier this week. Per reports, the team is planning to boycott the Holiday Bowl scheduled for Dec. 27 if their “demands are not met.”
Five of the 10 players are facing expulsion from the University, four are looking at a one year suspension and one could be given probation. All 10 have been prohibited from any team-related activities.
Here’s an excerpt from the Star-Tribune regarding the report:
Sources have told the Star Tribune the University of Minnesota football players will threaten a boycott of the team’s bowl game in protest of 10 players being suspended from the team Tuesday in the latest fallout of a September sexual assault investigation.
The Gophers had a players-only meeting Thursday and later brought in head coach Tracy Claeys to inform him of their plans, sources said. According to two parents of players, all of the team’s players are planning a united announcement Thursday evening to say they will boycott the Holiday Bowl if “their demands are not met” — a reference to their disagreement with the decision to suspend the 10 players.
All 10 players are currently working on appeals.
This situation has been ongoing since September and it has resulted in multiple suspensions throughout the regular season.
Players also took to Twitter on Thursday night, expressing their disapproval of the decision to suspend the 10 players:
Nobody understands us . Stand up or get rolled over . #WeHadEnough 〽️
— Eric icky Carter (@LilEazyVert9) December 15, 2016
Nothing can separate this brotherhood. Nothing. #WeHadEnough
— Carter Coughlin (@Cmoe34) December 15, 2016
Lord knows???????? #WeHadEnough
— $wagggy-Ki™ (@khard_7) December 15, 2016
Later on Thursday evening, Minnesota players gathered to announce they would be boycotting the Holiday Bowl. They demanded that they meet with the University’s Board of Regents to discuss lifting the suspensions from the 10 players.
One player, Antoine Winfield Jr., has already threatened to leave the program
Antoine Winfield Sr. said his son Antoine Jr. will not stay at University of MN if President Kaler and AD Mark Coyle remain in their jobs.
— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) December 16, 2016
There could be more that unfolds in Minneapolis and things could get messier in the coming days.