Gophers student-athletes protest in response to university cuts of multiple sports

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A big message on Wednesday from those rallying and marching at the University of Minnesota was that there is still more that needs to be done.

About 200 student-athletes and coaches came together to protest on Wednesday afternoon. Among the students in attendance, to make sure Gopher men’s track and field, men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis get to continue, was Gophers wide receiver Seth Green. Green said even though football got a green light, there’s more work to do.

"I had to come out and show support for people I see every day and speak to and hang out with, have tutoring sessions with, have class with, you know. People who are side by side with me in my community," Green said.

Athletes whose sports are on the chopping block protested outside the Bierman Athletic Center on campus.

Grayling Elliot Davis, a U of M track and field athlete, said, "It’s just kind of like a stab in the back… and it just kind of hurts us because [athletic administration] took it away without question."

Others at the rally said if football is played, the other sports should be, too. Former coaches also spoke out.

"The whole thing is nuts. And it’s gotta be, smart people have got to stop and say you know what we have to re-evaluate not just right now, but the whole shooting match," Gary Wilson, long-time former women’s track and field coach, said.

The rally was followed by a march on campus to make a statement to campus leadership, and to make sure all student-athletes get to fulfill their dreams.

"As a Gopher family, we always have to stick with each other no matter what the issue is and this is a big issue. I can just imagine if they cut football how I would feel and I would want everybody’s support as well, so I’m just out here supporting them, doing anything they need me to do," Mohamed Ibrahim, a starter on the football team, told KSTP.

More from KSTP:

Gopher Athletics cutting men’s track and field, men’s tennis, men’s gymnastics

Students react after University of Minnesota cuts men’s tennis, gymnastics and track and field