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Regents Look to Commission 'Independent' Review of Gophers Football Players Investigation

March 24, 2017 10:13 PM

What's your opinion on how the University of Minnesota handled the Gopher football investigation?  Let these 3 leaders at the U of M know your thoughts!

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The University of Minnesota Board of Regents commissioned what it's calling an "independent investigation" that will "review and assess the facts and processes related" to the investigation of 10 Gopher football players relating to an alleged sexual assault incident.

The Board of Regents met Friday in Duluth where a resolution was presented titled, "Initiate an Independent Investigation."

Chairman Dean Johnson said the review will be conducted by the university's chief auditor, Gail Klatt, with input from outside experts.

He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Friday in a phone interview that hiring an outside investigator to do the job would be too expensive.

"It costs money, it costs a lot of money to do these kinds of reviews by outside sources," Johnson said. "We did not think it prudent use of dollars to do that when we have someone of the stature and capabilities of Gail Klatt and her staff within the university system."

Johnson made the announcement at the end of Friday's meeting.

"Over the past several months, the university endured a very difficult period," Johnson said.

"Allegations of sexual assault are serious, and we are committed to ensuring student safety," he added. "We must take a step back and learn, so we can do better in the future."

READ: Full Resolution for Independent Investigation

The resolution will cover the events spanning from Sept. 2, 2016, to March 24, 2017. 

The incident between a female student and several members of the Gophers football team resulted in an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department and the university.

KSTP Exclusive: 80-Page Report Outlines U of M Investigation into Gophers Football Players

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office declined to press charges after reviewing the case.  

Ten players were initially suspended, which led to players threatening to boycott a Dec. 27, 2016, bowl game, "leading to a national and international story detrimental to the University's reputation and standing in Minnesota and beyond," the resolution states.

After a university EOAA investigation, four players were expelled and one suspended.

The provost then reviewed player appeals of the EOAA decision and upheld one suspension and one expulsion.

RELATED: 1 Suspended, 1 Expelled After U of M Provost Rules on Gopher Football Player Appeals

The board seeks a full report returned no later than May 5, according to the resolution. 

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Theresa Malloy

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