AP: Gophers players almost reinstated boycott over suspensions

The Associated Press is reporting that the decision by the University of Minnesota football team to end its “boycott” to protest the suspension of 10 players alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman, was not as final as first reported.

The story presented by U of M president Eric Kaler was that the players accepted his explanation for the school’s investigation into the players’ actions.

But AP’s Jon Krawczysnki reports today that the players were so upset by Kaler taking credit that they wanted to reinstate the boycott.

The players met with two regents — Darrin Rosha and Michael Hsu — who had been vocal in their opposition to the school’s sexual assault policies in the past.

Krawczysnki says Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle heard about the pending meeting and tried an end-around.

Kaler and Coyle tried to re-engage the players before Hsu and Rosha could meet with them that night. They offered to reinstate the second group of five players for the bowl, but pulled that back when the university said the woman who made the accusations would have to approve that, four people involved in the discussions told the AP.

Kaler and Coyle left talks with the players before 9 p.m. without an agreement and players prepared to skip the game. The players invited the regents in, according to three people who were there, and a marathon discussion lasted until dawn.

“We weren’t negotiating,” Hsu said. “We had nothing to give them. We were only there to talk to them, help understand them, help them understand us, the university, us as regents. Help them think through the ramifications.”

They talked about criticism the team received after announcing the boycott with a statement that paid little attention to the allegations made by the woman. If they pulled out of the bowl game, would they look like they were defending sexual assault?

“They appeared to really want to get it right for all involved: the reporting student, the public, the university, the team,” Rosha said. “While they didn’t seem sure about what the right approach was, they did conclude it wasn’t maintaining the boycott.”

  • BReynolds33

    I’m not usually one for burning things to the ground, but this needs to be burned to the ground, and the ground salted. Fire everyone in authority at the U that had anything to do with any of it, cancel every scholarship for the team, and ban football at the U for a decade. I’m done with “because football” being a rationale for anything.

    • Anna

      I liked college football when it was about playing the game for the joy of it and not about getting a ticket into the NFL and 10-15 years of fame and then the rest in poverty and/or prison.

      I liked college football when it was about the possibility of playing in the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl etc., not the (insert corporate name here) Orange Bowl, the () Cotton Bowl, The ()Sugar Bowl and the () Rose Bowl, etc. The corporate sponsors change so much it’s become impossible to keep up with the naming rights.

      Because we have abused the “reward system” to get kids to cooperate, consequences for poor decisions and actions don’t carry much weight anymore because the guilty parties will find a way to “lessen” the consequence.

      The size of your wallet determines what type of “equal” treatment you get under the law and that disparity is growing wider with every passing year.

      Like I tell the children I teach, and it doesn’t matter what grade they are in, you don’t demand respect, you earn it. Let me say that again. You don’t demand respect, you earn it and you earn it by admitting mistakes, fixing those mistakes to the best of your ability and you accept the consequences for the mistake.

      You earn your place on the first string team, you don’t demand it nor do you coerce your way into it.

      I am really growing weary of the “pass the buck” attitude on the part of athletes, coaches, administrators and athletic directors.

      My message to the U of M football team—life isn’t fair and it never has been. The little snowflakes have figured out if they whine long enough and push hard enough, administration will cave and the university will get it’s 2.8 million dollars because that’s all that really matters anyway.

      It’s the money, stupid.

  • kennedy

    So hard to vote. Everyone in this looks bad. Very, very bad.

  • crystals

    All of the above.

    • Joe

      No kidding. Everyone comes out looking so bad in this. I don’t know that they’ll have many people cheering for them in the bowl game.

      • Bob Sinclair

        Thats Ok, ‘cos those of on the Left Coast will be rooting for the Cougs.

  • Rob

    There’s just too much clueless white male activity going on in this story to keep track of, whether it be on the part of Kaler and Coyle, the boycott-predisposed jocks, Claes, or Rosha and Hsu.

    • Jerry

      Beyond the fact that many of the players are African American, I don’t know if you can really classify a man with the last name of Hsu as a white male.

      • Rob

        My bad, and thanks.

  • Mike Worcester

    Let’s ask an honest question — What would happen if the U of M decided to eliminate it’s football program? What would be the short and long-term results?

  • Michelle

    Cardinal rule of board/management governance is that that management manages and the board governs. When the board starts to manage–crisis ensues. ( I can tell you this from personal experience with some non profit boards I have been on.) I find it a little disturbing that the students tried to do an end around Kaler and Coyle and that Hsu and Rosha agreed to meet with the students in what appears to be another end around management. The board should only step in where there is gross malfeasance which I am not seeing in this case. If the board disagrees with management, they need to work directly with management and or replace management. Seems an organizational management class might be in order for several people here.
    As a longtime Gopher fan I find the whole thing incredibly sad and depressing. My heart goes out to the young woman, I am disgusted by the “alleged–although somewhat substantiated” actions of the men at that party that night and I am extremely disappointed in the rest of the team. It’s often been hard to be a Gopher fan due to crummy teams, but this pales in comparison.

    • tboom

      Thanks, I was working up a good rant over Hsu and Rosha’s involvement and then not having a “regents” option on the multiple choice.

      This thing stinks from bottom to top. In my opinion the coach should have put out the boycott fire before it got started, after that tone deaf tweet he deserves to be the first to go.

  • KTFoley

    I vote that players look the worst because, yet again, they have rendered meaningless their public statement about sexual assault. They don’t mean a word of it.