After late-night meeting, Gophers on verge of dropping out of Holiday Bowl
It’s now just a matter of hours. And frankly, there doesn’t appear to be a resolution in the near future.
According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota is on the verge of dropping its bowl bid after players met with university president Eric Kaler and other school leaders late on Friday night. Kaler reportedly wasn’t invited by showed up anyway.
The disagreement of opinions regarding suspensions handed to 10 Minnesota players for their role in a sexual assault case didn’t see a drastic change, according to the report.
A resolution must reportedly be reached by noon Saturday in order for Minnesota to play in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27. If both sides stand their ground, a replacement team will take the Gophers place. That team was reportedly Northern Illinois.
In their late-night meeting on Friday, Minnesota players reportedly refused to back down on their demand that the 10 suspended Gophers be allowed to play in the bowl game after no criminal charges were pressed against them. Kaler also refused to back down from his “value-based suspension,” which he said was the reason for the suspensions.
The university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action conducted its own investigation of the Sept. 2 incident, as required by federal law. The university just had to determine if a “preponderance of evidence” indicated that it was more than likely that an assault occurred.
That led to year-long suspensions, expulsions and probation for the 10 players.
Kaler and Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle initially said that coach Tracy Claeys had final call on the suspensions, which players claimed wasn’t true. That added to the cause for Minnesota players to go through with the boycott.
More will be updated on Minnesota’s situation throughout the day.