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Appeal Hearings for 10 U of M Football Players Continue

January 27, 2017 01:20 PM

The hearings for 10 University of Minnesota football players suspended during a sexual misconduct investigation continued Friday.

The first day of the appeal hearings on Thursday ran longer than scheduled, finally ending close to midnight.

Attorneys representing the players suspended have raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest that could impact the university's appeals process.

Ryan Pacyga, who represents Antoine Winfield Jr., says Tina Marisam, the university official who led the investigation for the office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA), should not have been allowed to testify Thursday before a panel from the University's Student Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee.

RELATED: Attorneys for Gopher Football Players Concerned About Conflicts of Interest During Appeal Hearings

Pacyga said an orientation agenda from last August shows Marisam provided subcommittee members an overview of the "best practices for the University's hearing process in sexual misconduct cases," raising concerns about the panel's ability to be impartial.

A university spokesperson said officials cannot comment on specific issues due to privacy restrictions but stated objections to the appeals process are resolved during the pre-hearing process, which took place earlier this month.

Pacyga also said a 90-second video from one of the player's cell phones shows a consensual encounter, however, it won't be allow to be used as evidence. Pacyga said his client didn't do anything inappropriate and that he is hoping his name will be cleared soon.

Nine other men are being represented by attorney Lee Hutton. Five of the men are facing expulsion from the university. Like Winfield, three others face a one-year suspension and another could be placed on probation.

The hearing resumed Friday afternoon.

KSTP's Joe Augustine contributed to this report.

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