There’s a fair amount of theater in matters involving football but University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck, a showman of the first order, provided a genuine moment yesterday when he gave a big nod to a kid who’s been showing up for the team and never played a game.
This will be Justin Juenemann’s last season. He’s a senior. He pays his own way to school.
Not this year, though.
At a team meeting, Fleck introduced a patient from the Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and asked him who his favorite player was. It’s Juenemann, who visits kids in the hospital.
“He could easily just not do it and nobody would ever say anything. You’re sitting here looking at two examples of what our culture can do: … what other people can do for us and what we can do for them. It’s very powerful,” Fleck said at a team meeting.
A T-shirt, delivered by air cannon, revealed that the university had given Juenemann a full scholarship.
Related: Gophers coach P.J. Fleck dives into controversy, origins of mantra on TV show (Pioneer Press)