The University of Minnesota football team ended their boycott of the Holiday Bowl after attempting to overturn the suspension of 10 players for alleged acts of sexual assault and agreed to participate in the upcoming December 27th game against Washington State University.
After lengthy meetings with University President Eric Kaler and Athletic Director Mark Coyle, the team’s senior wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky read a statement on behalf of his teammates. In the statement,
the team acknowledged that their demand to have the suspensions of the 10 players overturned was “not going to happen”.
However, Wolitarsky also stated that during the course of the meetings an agreement was reached that assured each of the suspended players a “fair hearing” before a diverse review panel. The hearings will most likely be heard in January.
In addition, the team agreed that the players would use their status as “public figures to bring more exposure to the issue of sexual harassment and violence against women.” Wolitarsky comments further acknowledged how difficult and stressful the situation had been for everyone involved and he specifically recognized that
“there is only one way to treat all women, and that is with the utmost respect at all times.”
President Kaler reacted to the statement issued by the team and stated. “I think the statement by the students today around support for victims of sexual assault is important. I will continue to amplify the fact that the football team’s action in support of their teammates was not in support of sexual violence.”