A story the University of Minnesota would love to go away… isn’t going away.
Following the conclusion of a school appeals panel that cleared four football players in a sexual assault but upheld punishment for six others, a lawyer representing the group told the Associated Press that a lawsuit could be forthcoming against the university following the conclusion of a long and ugly process.
Ryan Pacyga, who represented Antoine Winfield Jr. during the proceedings and has since been brought on by Lee Hutton to help with representation of the other nine players involved, said Saturday “everything is on the table.”
“I think the process needs to be overhauled,” Pacyga said. “It was greatly concerning and any parent ought to be concerned if their student is accused of a Title IX violation, and especially sexual misconduct at the University of Minnesota.”
At the center of the case is an alleged sexual assault involving several football players after a home game last season. Quarterback Seth Green, running back Kobe McCrary, Winfield Jr. and cornerback Antonio Shenault were all cleared in the matter after the appeals hearing but were set to face a one-year suspension. Defensive backs Ray Buford, KiAnte Hardin and Dior Johnson, as well as defensive end Tamarion Johnson, were all expelled from the school while Mark Williams’ one year suspension was upheld. A 10th player, tailback Carlton Djam, had his punishment reduced to a one-year suspension.
Of the group, Green and Winfield were expected to play a potential starting role for Minnesota under new head coach P.J. Fleck in 2017. How a potential lawsuit against the school would affect that remains to be seen, if we reach that point at all.
Either way, it seems like this ugly incident in the Twin Cities isn’t going away anytime soon.