Sexual misconduct already has been a sensitive subject for the university and for its athletics department.
Former athletic director Norwood Teague resigned in August 2015 amid allegations of sexual harassment.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it had insufficient evidence to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt that either force was used or that the victim was physically helpless as defined by law." That statement cited the high standard of proof needed to secure a conviction in criminal cases.
But the university uses a lower bar in student discipline cases -- the "preponderance of the evidence." That standard, used by courts in most civil cases, requires proof only that it's "more likely than not" that the student code of conduct was violated.
"All these kids' reputations are destroyed," senior quarterback Mitch Leidner said. It's extremely difficult to get back, and it's very unfair for them, and that's why we're sticking together through this thing." In a joint statement issued Friday, University President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle called the suspensions "a values-based decision," not a legal judgment.
"But we can tell you that certain behavior is simply unacceptable and antithetical to our institutional values.
and the sexual contact appears entirely consensual." The woman acknowledged to police that she drank five to six shots of vodka that night and that there were gaps in her memory, the reports said.
The roles of most of the other suspended players were not clear in 22 pages of redacted police reports released Tuesday.Now, less than two weeks before the Golden Gophers' scheduled Dec.27 face-off with Washington State, the walkout threatens to upend the Holiday Bowl.The investigators concluded that several students had failed to provide full and truthful information.The school's Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action investigates allegations of sexual misconduct against students, according to university websites.We support Gopher Athletics' decision because this is much bigger than football," the statement said.