Minnesota team ends boycott threat, will go to Holiday Bowl

Ten Minnesota football players were suspended this wee.

"We had a very frank and candid discussion".

This morning, they announced they were ending their boycott and will, in fact, be playing in the Holiday Bowl against Washington State. The team had objected to the 10 players being publicly identified and what it saw as a lack of due process for them.

Wolitarsky said university officials had promised the suspended players would have a fair hearing from a "diverse review panel", and vowed to show support for the "character shown by the great majority of our players". One was that we they might not be able to play in the bowl game.

"They were in a situation where they were supporting teammates, and I think the local and national media translated that into support of sexual violence and their intent was to support their teammates", he said.

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The Holiday Bowl is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PT on December 27th on ESPN.

The Gophers had been protesting the suspension of 10 players connected to a sexual assault allegation, demanding that the players be reinstated immediately. The Gophers won the Quick Lane Bowl a year ago.

The victim said she had been drinking but remembers "a line of people, like they were waiting for their turn". The reports said she accompanied Djam and a male, whose name was redacted, to Djam's room, where she had sex with both of them at the same time. But an attorney for several of the suspended players and the father of one of them confirmed the action was taken in connection with an alleged sexual assault in an apartment near campus. No arrests or charges were made and the players, who maintained the sex was consensual, were reinstated after a judge lifted a restraining order. "We look forward to representing the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl in a way that makes all of you proud".

Dean Johnson, chairman of the university's Board of Regents, said he supports the decision to end the boycott and to keep the 10 players under suspension.

He also says the university doesn't tolerate sexual violence, and more must be done to ensure the campus is safe for everyone. That change, he said, could come in stronger policies, enforcement or more educational opportunities and sensitivity training.

  • Regina Holmes