Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Claeys gets the sack

And the Gopher football team, stunned by the completely unpredictable events triggered by their threat to boycott a major bowl game, is very unhappy.

Update: John Shipley at the Pioneer Press weighs in:

Is deplorable behavior OK at Minnesota? Many players seemed to think so.

“It’s sad how this administration doesn’t care about the players at all,” senior cornerback Jalen Myric tweeted Tuesday.

Reminder: The university is razing buildings, moving earth and trying desperately to raise $169 million to build an “Athletes Village” that will feature a new indoor football practice facility, offices for the coaching staff, a locker room for the players and a 24-hour training table for all student-athletes. Yet we’re asked to believe that 100-plus Division I athletes — 85 of them on full scholarship — are now victims of a world gone mad. That the university doesn’t have the right to determine whether their behavior breaks school standards.

At Sports Illustrated, Brian Hamilton asks: "Why does trouble follow Minnesota?"

It’s a major-conference program, but no one mistakes it for a striving college athletic leviathan that may or may not have to grind the rulebook and ethics into a fine paste to maintain its lofty status. Minnesota athletics is realistically a mid-level business with fair-but-not-outsized expectations, and yet it all too consistently faces extraordinarily high-end humiliations.

Bad things happen at nearly every college. Academic missteps, inappropriate behavior thrust before anyone with an internet connection, bad administrators, mishandling extremely delicate sexual assault cases…sadly, none of this is unique to Minnesota. But all of it has happened at Minnesota, and having been there for a while, it does not seem to be the kind of place where oppressive pressure to succeed explains it all away.

Many alumni are placing the blame for the entire fiasco on the administration, according to Chad Graff at the Pioneer Press.

“I think the university has deeper problems that have gone on for 50 years with the football program,” said former player and contributor Gary Hohman. “I think they are totally in denial from the president through Morrill Hall to the Board of Regents. And I think they have been. I think it’s a bigger picture than Tracy Claeys. I think it’s a cultural issue with the university. I think they want to take credit for being a Big Ten university, but in no way in the last 50 years have they made the commitment to football that’s necessary. I think it’s a much bigger issue than just Tracy Claeys.”

Update 2:

“I won't be stepping foot back in the stadium and I won't be stepping back into the university."

Jerry Kill is very displeased, but Mark Coyle is not mincing words.

Coyle gave a blistering assessment of the football program, which has been engulfed in turmoil for three weeks, and declared Tuesday night a need for more “integrity and class” across athletics.

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