The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities’ decision to suspend 10 players and consider an additional five for expulsion in connection with a campus sexual assault on September 2, 2016, is garnering attention for all the right reasons. While many campuses have handled the issue of sexual assault poorly, U of M decided to go the other way in hopes that bringing attention to real consequences will show solidarity with survivors and set a precedent for future instances of campus assault.
One major difference between this case and past campus assault trials is the fact that while there were no criminal charges against the players and one recruiter who was involved, the school decided to take action.
According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, in a trial held on November 1, 2016, the Hennepin County attorney’s office chose not to charge any of the players. However, in December 2016, it announced that its lawyers would revisit the investigation. Later, County Attorney Mike Freeman released a statement that denounced the players’ “deplorable behavior” and concluded that U of M’s investigation offered “no new significant evidence” that would lead to criminal charges. However, Teen Vogue reports that the “University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) concluded in an extensive 82-page report that the alleged victim’s account was much more credible than that of the players’ and recommended that 10 university football players be disciplined for their respective roles in the assault.”
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