In response to the suspension levied against 10 of the players of the Minnesota football program, the team has decided to boycott all football related activity, effective immediately.
Earlier this season, a number of Minnesota football players were implicated in sexual assault allegations against a female student, who has remained unidentified. A criminal investigation led to no arrests or charges against any of the persons accused.
However, on Tuesday the university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office decided upon its own punitive actions for the students. Five have been recommended for expulsion from the school, while four face a one-year suspension from the university; another faces probation.
Today, the players held a players-only meeting and decided that a show of unity was in order to defend the members of their team who they felt had been treated unfairly. As a result, no players will report for any practices or meetings until their “demands are met,” meaning the suspended players are reinstated.
They have stated they are willing to boycott their bowl game on Dec. 27 if need be.
Several players have gone to Twitter to express their frustration.
Stand for something or fall for anything. #WeHadEnough
— Brian Smith Jr. (@BSXXVI) December 15, 2016
#WeHadEnough justice soon💯
— PrinceHenny (@thatboy_still) December 15, 2016
We all we got! #WeHadEnough 〽️
— Winston DeL. III (@w_d_iii) December 15, 2016
This is a sticky situation,. The university cannot afford to set this kind of precedent. Fair or unfair, the students implicated will likely remain suspended and ineligible to play.
The team made coach Tracy Claeys aware of their decision shortly after their players-only meeting.
The ten suspended players are defensive back Ray Buford, running back Carlton Djam, quarterback Seth Green, defensive back KiAnte Hardin, defensive back Dior Johnson, defensive lineman Tamarion Johnson, running back Kobe McCrary, defensive back Antonio Shenault, quarterback Mark Williams and defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr.
Bufard, Hardin and the Johnsons were previously suspended for the incident earlier in the season.
Photo Credit: Minnesota Football/Twitter