Gophers Head Football Coach Claeys Discusses Player Suspensions, Team Boycott

December 19, 2016 12:50 PM

On Sunday, University of Minnesota head football coach Tracy Claeys discussed the recent suspension of 10 football players and the subsequent boycott by their teammates.

RAW: Gopher Head Football Coach Tracy Claeys News Conference


The team announced Saturday morning that they will play Washington State in the Dec. 27 game in San Diego.

The Gophers’ participation in the Holiday Bowl was in question after the team boycotted all football activities because of the suspensions.

When asked if he influenced the players with the decision to boycott, he said it was up to them.

"That was the kids' decision," Claeys said. "I was a sounding board."

RELATED: Minnesota Players to Boycott All Football Activities

"The boycott was about the due process," Claeys said. "The kids are citizens first, they have constitutional rights."

Claeys said the issue of due process for students is not an issue that is unique to the University of Minnesota.

"If we can get this due process thing to come to light and get people talking about it, it will be better for all of us, for students on all of the universities," said Claeys.

The University of Minnesota announced Tuesday that 10 football players have been suspended indefinitely from all team activities.

"I understand why it (decision to suspend the players) was made," Claeys said. "But I also, at the same time, I know the players on the other side of due process."

The players include: Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, Seth Green, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson, Kobe McCrary, Antonio Shenault, Mark Williams and Antoine Winfield Jr.

RELATED: Documents Show Contradicting Accounts of What Led to Suspension of 10 Gopher Football Players

Of the 10 players suspended, six were involved in a sexual misconduct incident involving a female student at the U of M.

Claeys was also asked if he worries about his job security at the university.

"I don't worry about my job on a day-to-day basis," Claeys said. "I never have. I work hard and we do the best we can each day. I don't want to work for somebody who doesn't want me working for them either. Life is miserable when you do that."


Nate Leding

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