Panel that will hear appeal for suspended Gophers to be chosen this week
As ten Minnesota football players prepare to appeal their suspension from the University, the panel that will hear their case is expected to be chosen sometime this week, according to a report.
KSTP reported on Wednesday that a panel search and selection will be conducted this week and the appeals will be heard on Jan. 26 and 27. The panel will be made up of five members and must include at least one student.
Here’s how the appeals process will be handled, according to KSTP:
The panel will hear the appeals of ten football players accused of violating university policies for their varying roles in a sexual assault investigation. All ten players are enrolled for the spring semester, according to the source.
They will be allowed to question their own witnesses during the appeal hearings which will take place Jan. 26-27. The hearings are closed to the public.
The 10 players were suspended due to their varied role in a sexual assault case that occurred in September. Though some players had served a suspension from the football team earlier in the season, the issue against resurfaced before Minnesota’s trip to the Holiday Bowl because of an investigation by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA).
The EOAA recommended that the 10 players involved be suspended from the team immediately. Further, five players – Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson – are facing expulsion. Four others – Kobe McCrary, Mark Williams, Seth Green and Antoine Winfield Jr. – could be suspended for one year.
Antonio Shenault is facing probation.
Following the announcement that the 10 players would be suspended, Minnesota’s players participated in a team-wide boycott of all football activities and threatened to not play in the Holiday Bowl against Washington State. Then-head coach Tracy Claeys – and other coaches – tweeted support for the team’s decision to protest.
Eventually the boycott ended and the Gophers knocked off Washington State in the Holiday Bowl to end the season 9-4. But the actions from the players and Claeys tweet did not sit well in the eyes of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle.
Claeys was fired a few days later.
There are no criminal charges against the players but it has been determined by the EOAA that they violated the school’s policies.