U of M followed procedures and the law when it suspended football players, review says - Bring Me The News

U of M followed procedures and the law when it suspended football players, review says

10 players were suspended following sexual assault allegations.
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The University of Minnesota didn't break any of its own policies – or the law – when it suspended 10 football players last fall, a review found

The players were accused of sexual assault, and even though the Hennepin County Attorney's Office declined to press charges, the U of M conducted its own Title IX investigation and the players were suspended

This prompted players to threaten a boycott of a game, and also played a role in the firing of coach Tracy Claeys. 

In the end, the U cleared five players, while four players were expelled and one was suspended, KSTP says

But critics questioned whether the students were treated fairly by the U of M, which said it was acting under federal Title IX guidelines. This prompted an outside review of the school's discipline practices. Law firm Dorsey & Whitney's report was released Wednesday.

What the report found

The report found the U of M's discipline decisions "were consistent with the University policy and the law." 

The U "provides substantial due process protections" in its investigations, "including protections that far exceed the due process protections of other Big 10 universities," the review says. 

The report also looked at the fallout following the suspensions, blaming it on the "weak leadership by the football team coaching staff," as well as bad communication and lack of trust between U leadership and the football team, which is due in part to the leadership not being able to share private information about students. 

It also found that student-athletes and people in the Athletics Department have a lack of understanding of the disciplinary process. 

The 364-page docket (read it in full here) also provides various recommendations for the university to fix the issues it reviewed.

The Board of Regents is meeting Wednesday morning to discuss the report. 

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