University of Minnesota center Reggie Lynch has been suspended from Minnesota’s basketball team stemming from an investigation by the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office of sexual misconduct on campus in the spring of 2016, who found Lynch responsible.
It was made known late Thursday night that Lynch’s suspension from the team and campus until at the earliest, August 2020. Lynch has made it known that he will be appealing the suspension and will be allowed to continue to practice with the Gophers.
According to the report obtained by the Pioneer Press, the incident allegedly happened in a campus dorm room, Roy Wilkins Hall, on April 28th, 2016. The details of the incident have not been made public, so it’s unclear what the allegations against Lynch are specifically at this time.
According to Athletic Director Mark Coyle, Lynch’s investigation is still on-going, but he will not play for the Gophers.
Lynch was arrested in May of 2016 on suspicion of sexual assault, but charges were not filed by Hennepin County Attorney’s office, who cited insufficient evidence. Lynch was also cleared by an investigation by through the university, this being a separate incident from the one that Lynch is currently suspended for.
So, the question remains, from many, why did the university not take action sooner? This is Minnesota Athletic Department’s third incident involving sexual misconduct in the past two years and the second among the men’s basketball program.
Abby Honold, a University of Minnesota graduate and an advocate for sexual assault victims in Minneapolis, took to Twitter on Friday to share her perspective on Lynch and the investigation process. Honold claims the university knew about the past behaviors of Lynch and still did nothing.
Gopher athletics knew about Reggie Lynch & his behavior from the beginning. I literally sat them down last year & brought it to their attention even further. They know there are multiple victims. They knew about this active report. They still did nothing https://t.co/7rnHrzYtFb— Abby Honold (@abbyhonold) January 5, 2018
When asked by reports on Friday about the accusations of known behavior by Lynch to athletic director Coyle, they were side-stepped.
As for head coach Richard Pitino, he was unable to comment about his knowledge of Lynch’s accusations in 2016. Further, Pitino was asked if the there was a culture problem in the program or the department when it comes to the treatment of women. He replied: “I don’t think we do, we take a lot of pride in our culture and to educate our guys.”
When asked why Lynch was allowed to practice and continue to be ‘member’ of the basketball program Pitino said, “When things like this happen you go to your boss. Mark and I discussed it, and that was the decision we came up with. I fully support Mark.”
BTPowerhouse will continue to follow this story as it unfolds. As of now, very few facts are known, so everybody will have to wait for more to be released.