The threat of Minnesota football players boycotting the Holiday Bowl was heard loud and clear, but the Gophers will reportedly head to San Diego and play in the bowl game against Washington State. A morning meeting on Saturday has led to a decision to play in the bowl game after all.
Just two days ago, Minnesota players came out with a statement declaring their intent to boycott football activities until 10 players suspended by the school were reinstated. Minnesota suspended 10 players following an investigation of an alleged sexual assault from earlier in the regular season. The response from teammates was a show of unity with the belief the players that were suspended were treated unfairly by university leaders. The suspensions have not been lifted by the university.
Had Minnesota sat out the Holiday Bowl, the bowl game might have had a difficult time finding an opponent for Washington State at the 11th hour. Northern Illinois would have been next in line to participate in the bowl game but getting the Huskies organized and prepared for the game would have been a logistical nightmare. The next two teams in line would have been Pac-12 schools that have already faced Washington State. Fortunately, Minnesota following through on their bowl game makes things easier for the Holiday Bowl, even if it comes with a distraction following the Gophers.