Antonioe Winfield Jr.

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Minnesota players ended boycott after reading 80-page sexual assault investigation report

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On Saturday, Minnesota football players ended their brief boycott of football activities to return to preparing for the upcoming Holiday Bowl against Washington State. The boycott did not result in overturning the suspensions to 10 teammates, so why the change of heart? Information from an 80-page sexual assault investigation report may have been the deciding factor.

According to a report from The Star-Tribune, a source claims once the report was reviewed by Minnesota football players, the entire tone of the boycott was altered. The information provided in the report brought a sense of clarity and answered some questions that were seemingly and frustratingly left unanswered for Gophers players. A lack of communication was one of the main reasons for the boycott in the first place at Minnesota, but the report may have made things a bit more clear.

The university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action report recommended five players (Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson) face expulsion from the university. Those players reportedly had sexual contact with an alleged female victim. The reports recommended one-year suspensions for Seth Green, Kobe McCrary, Mark Williams and Antoine Winfield Jr. and probation for Antonio Shenault.

It was during a team meeting early Saturday morning where one of the suspended players urged his teammates to end the boycott and not ruin a postseason experience for everyone on the account of the 10 suspended players.

Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys, who had shown support for his players coming together for a cause they believe in with the boycott, has committed to donating $50,000 to victims of sexual violence.