University of Minnesota Gophers football players announced that the team will boycott all football activities – including the Holiday Bowl scheduled for Dec. 27 in San Diego.
Gophers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky read a statement during a press conference Thursday evening with the team standing by his side, saying the boycott will continue until their demands are met.
Wolitarsky asked the Holiday Bowl committee remain patient with the team while they deal with the issue. He urged U of M Athletics Director Mark Coyle to reconsider suspensions against 10 football players with haste.
Players also demanded a meeting with the Board of Regents and want university president Eric Kaler and Coyle to be held accountable for suspending the athletes.
Here is the full statement.
The 10 players were suspended by the university Tuesday. The suspensions are related to an alleged sexual assault incident that occurred in September at a Dinkytown apartment.
Four of those players were suspended in September while the incident was investigated for criminal charges, however Hennepin County prosecutors declined to pursue charges, and those four players were reinstated. Those four players and six more were then suspended earlier this week following an EOAA investigation.
The players' attorney, Lee Hutton, told the Star Tribune Wednesday night that five of the 10 players suspended face expulsion and four others could be suspended for a year.
Teammates have been expressing support for the suspended players on Twitter.