Minnesota players threaten bowl boycott over suspended teammates

Submitted by Leaders And Best on December 15th, 2016 at 6:42 PM

Minnesota's football team is threatening a boycott of the Holiday Bowl over the suspension of 10 teammates from a sexual assault investigation. No charges were filed, but the school's Title IX committee recommended that 5 of the players be expelled and 5 receive one-year suspensions.

I thought we would eventually see players boycott a game, but I always thought it would be for a better reason.


http://www.startribune.com/gophers-football-players-plan-to-threaten-boycott-of-bowl-game/406928136/

EDIT #1: This article has the best overview of the allegations & timeline that I've seen posted:

http://www.startribune.com/gophers-football-players-plan-to-threaten-boycott-of-bowl-game/406928136/

EDIT #2: The boycott is now official. The players have made a statement with video:

http://deadspin.com/report-minnesota-football-players-plan-to-boycott-bowl-1790167029

Comments

corundum

December 15th, 2016 at 7:01 PM ^

PR aside, this whole situation is weird. Everyone is getting up on their moral pedestals while no charges were filed following a criminal investigation. I'd be unhappy with the punishment from the University as well if I were in their shoes.

MGlobules

December 15th, 2016 at 7:21 PM ^

and if the students violated them--which they obviously did--then the school is required to punish them (unless they want young women to start seeking another school). Such decisions have repeatedly been held up by the courts. 

Believe me, they did something awful. And now they are putting the football program and the school at risk with this action. A nightmare for Minnesota.

gruden

December 17th, 2016 at 12:26 PM ^

Actually, you can read the report if you'd like, it's posted here:

http://kstp.com/kstpImages/repository/cs/files/U%20of%20M%20EOAA%20reda…

There's some big red flags in this report and highlights why no charges were brought.  I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I have read her story of what happened and while I suspect a couple players did sexually assault her, there was a gross misscarry of 'justice' by the university as her recollections of some of the men was 'I think he was there' or 'something may have happened with him'. 

Basically some of these men were punished because she thought they might have been there and thought they may have done something to her.  Bear in mind she had said she had 4-5 shots of 100-proof vodka with her roommates prior to heading out that evening, and had likely been dehydrated upon consuming the vodka. 

But the real interesting thing is it is stated in the report that the hospital examination, quoted as follows (RS being the alleged victim who filed the report):

The medical professional also found "some kind of injury" 011 her
vagina,which could have happened from non-sexual activity. RS reported that the medical professional did not find anything "significant." EOAA requested the results of RS forensic  examination, but RS did not provide EOAA with these results."

Kevin13

December 16th, 2016 at 9:38 AM ^

are two very different things. Students at all institutions of higher learning have to follow moral conduct rules and breaking them can result in punishment form the school.  I don't think anyone but the parties involved really know what happened, but I don't think a school is going to go to these lengths of suspending players unless they feel there was something very wrong with what they did.

A school can punish a kid for not following moral codes, but could still face legal action from students if punishment is unjust, just like an employee at a work place. I don't know what happened, but tend to think the University of Minnesota is not going to open itself up to legal actions if they didn't feel they had a leg to stand on. Usually in a case like this you find out three sides to every story, yours, mine and the cold hard truth.  I think the University has gotten to the cold hard truth and feel punishment is warranted in this case.

bacon

December 15th, 2016 at 7:20 PM ^

I'm sure that The MSU football team can't believe that Minnesota throw away a chance to play in the bowl game over this. There are plenty of players in east Lansing who would love to go to the holiday bowl. If only they'd won just a few more games.

FauxMo

December 15th, 2016 at 6:45 PM ^

No Holiday Bowl, no donkey show in Tijuana, fellas. Better think about this hard... 

But come on, protesting to reinstate teammates involved in a sexual assault? Maybe not the best cause to throw down for... 

FauxMo

December 17th, 2016 at 12:41 PM ^

Well, the players have now announced that they ARE going to play in the game, and the boycott is over. Also, the university president announced that the original decision to keep the players from the game was heavily influenced not by the months-old TItle IX prcess, but by a significant piece of "new electronic evidence" that had been received earlier last week. This new evidence may even lead to the filing of criminal charges after all. 

So I guess either that new evidence convinced the players to give up their protest, or they just didn't feel as passionately about the "dictatorial feminist conspiracy" that has hold of our university system, as some of you seem to believe exists. Sheesh... 

L'Carpetron Do…

December 16th, 2016 at 11:22 AM ^

Yeah, man.  I mean, no one really knows what went down, except those who were there, but goddamn- pick your battles dudes.  College football has a sort of a bad rape problem right now  - so maybe this isn't the stand you want to take. Or take a stand silently and dont bring national attention to it by making essentially terroristic threats.  If the dudes turn out to be innocent - great, you stood up for your teammates and missed out on the Holiday Bowl.  But, if they end up being charged and found guilty - ooh boy...The downside is so much worse than the upside here.

On the flip side, would they ever boycott a bowl game if  their teammates had gotten away with something like this?

Muttley

December 15th, 2016 at 8:15 PM ^

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/10/15/28-…

Excerpts include:

we find the new sexual harassment policy inconsistent with many of the most basic principles we teach.

Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused, and are in no way required by Title IX law or regulation. Here our concerns include but are not limited to the following:

■ The absence of any adequate opportunity to discover the facts charged and to confront witnesses and present a defense at an adversary hearing.

■ The lodging of the functions of investigation, prosecution, fact-finding, and appellate review in one office, and the fact that that office is itself a Title IX compliance office rather than an entity that could be considered structurally impartial.

■ The failure to ensure adequate representation for the accused, particularly for students unable to afford representation.

 

■ Adopting rules governing sexual conduct between students both of whom are impaired or incapacitated, rules which are starkly one-sided as between complainants and respondents, and entirely inadequate to address the complex issues in these unfortunate situations involving extreme use and abuse of alcohol and drugs by our students.

 

 

■ Harvard apparently decided simply to defer to the demands of certain federal administrative officials, rather than exercise independent judgment about the kind of sexual harassment policy that would be consistent with law and with the needs of our students and the larger university community.

■ Harvard failed to engage a broad group of faculty from its different schools, including the law school, in the development of the new sexual harassment policy. And Harvard imposed its new sexual harassment policy on all the schools by fiat without any adequate opportunity for consultation by the relevant faculties.

■ Harvard undermined and effectively destroyed the individual schools’ traditional authority to decide discipline for their own students. The sexual harassment policy’s provision purporting to leave the schools with decision-making authority over discipline is negated by the university’s insistence that its Title IX compliance office’s report be totally binding with respect to fact findings and violation decisions.

We call on the university to withdraw this sexual harassment policy and begin the challenging project of carefully thinking through what substantive and procedural rules would best balance the complex issues involved in addressing sexual conduct and misconduct in our community.

DowntownLJB

December 15th, 2016 at 7:06 PM ^

The school sets the code of conduct.  The school can determine whether it's students violated the code of conduct.  This is NOT a criminal proceeding and does NOT require a legal standard of proof.  It is also not a criminal punishment - it is a punishment as determined by the school, under the code of conduct.  The students (by their attendance) have agreed to live up to the standards of the code of conduct.  They have an appeals process whereby they can protest the result.

DowntownLJB

December 15th, 2016 at 7:18 PM ^

agreed. (though I'm not exactly sure it falls under a first amendment right for opting not to participate in a sporting event, I agree with the teammates' right to abstain from participation in the game.)

 

My post was meant to distinguish between some of the comments about the legal standard of proof and the current suspensions, not to imply that the student athletes who aren't suspended are somehow ineligible to protest.

billybrown

December 16th, 2016 at 12:29 PM ^

Oh shit why didn't anyone let us know that being a public university transforms it Into a court of law. Jesus what Dont you people get between the differences. You're probably the same kind of person who doesn't understand the difference between freedom of speech and the fact that your speech can bring along consequences that in No way violate your freedoms.

MichiganMAN47

December 15th, 2016 at 10:23 PM ^

The code of conduct is a reflection of Title IX. There are no punishments for false rape accusations. There are no rights for the accused men. It's a horrible system with no accountability at all. The administrations are putting themselves in a position to ruin someone's life forever, and there damn well ought to be due process and checks on the system.

TIMMMAAY

December 15th, 2016 at 7:00 PM ^

Or maybe it's exactly the cause to throw down for. Why is everyone so quick to convict people through news stories? None of us here know what actually happened. For the entire team to unify and threaten a bowl boycott, that at least makes me think that maybe there's something to it.

FauxMo

December 15th, 2016 at 8:34 PM ^

But you are. There was a formal proceeding. Rules followed. Decision rendered. You think that could be flawed, and I agree. But let's not pretend this is some random allegation without due process. It's not. You're picking the side of "could still be innocent!!"

TIMMMAAY

December 15th, 2016 at 9:58 PM ^

I am taking the side that we (as random message board posters) don't know the facts of the situation beyond what was written in the linked article, and shouldn't declare which side is right or wrong. Not yet, anyway. But if you're talking "due process", there were no legal charges filed. The "formal proceeding" was at the university level, and the decision rendered could have been as much for political cover as for justice. We just don't know.

I don't understand how you can argue otherwise, unless you are somehwo privvy to the actual events in question. The Duke Lacross fiasco should have been a lesson to people about this kind of thing, but it hasn't been.

stephenrjking

December 15th, 2016 at 10:09 PM ^

I think you are dead-on correct here and in your preceding posts.

We can't say that the team is evil for attempting to support rapists. We can't say that they are angels for standing up for the wrongly accused. 

We don't know.

MichiganMAN47

December 15th, 2016 at 10:33 PM ^

The formal process does not afford any meaningful rights to the accused. Dictatorships have formal proceedings too, and it is just that, a formality, the result is predetermined. I suggest to you that this probably isn't all too different. Anybody who is on a Title IX hearing committee at a University is probably a raging feminist.

stephenrjking

December 15th, 2016 at 10:47 PM ^

This post starts out semi-poorly and then drives right off of the rails and into insanity at the end.

It could well be that Title IX committees are idealogicall homogenous and unfairly slanted, but categorical statements like your last sentence aren't arguments at all. That's a designed, slanderous insult for which even if 100% accurate would still be inexcusabe. 

MichiganMAN47

December 15th, 2016 at 11:25 PM ^

You call me insane, and then complain about slander.

The modern form of feminism wouldn't exist without public universities funding it. All it takes is a quick google search to see that Feminist groups are obsessed with the application of Title IX. When people are that passionate about something they get involved. I don't care if my argument offends you. Make an actual argument that doesn't revolve around your feelz.

stephenrjking

December 16th, 2016 at 12:17 AM ^

I didn't call you insane. I said your last sentence is insane.

And you've picked the wrong target. Note my profession, check my posting history: Let's just say that I am decidedly in the minority regarding non-sports opinions on this board. 

The problem isn't that your argument offends me; the problem is that it you haven't made an argument at all. Instead of contributing genuine line of thinking that can help illustrate and defend your position, you've resorted to intellectually vacant insult. You are a stereotype of a dumb [insert disfavored political label here] and if you didn't have over a year of posting experience I would guess that you were a troll account created to defame people who have legitimate objections to the politicization of higher education administrations by making them look like fools.