MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Gopher football team is back on the gridiron for spring ball after five players were cleared of sexual harassment following an appeal.
Three players recently won their appeals for alleged sex assault after they were suspended from the team last December. Antoine Winfield Jr., Mark Williams and Kobe McCrary were reinstated to team related activities along with Antonio Shenault and Seth Green.
“Those guys are students first and they went through a policy the university sets and I’m just glad to have the guys back and have that behind us and as we move forward continue to change to do our best and learn as students first and athletes second,” new head coach P.J. Fleck said.
Tuesday was the team’s third spring practice under their new head coach and it was unlike anything that practice field had ever seen before.
“If I don’t have the energy, how can they bring the energy? How can the coaches bring the energy? That’s not something I try to do. You know, I think a lot of people look at me and go ‘oh he’s trying to be like that.’ I’m just me,” Fleck said. “I think the guys that are really kind of showing a lot
“We are so far away from being an elite football team right now,” Fleck said.
But, that's what spring ball is about, learning and being intense. Now the question is, how long until the players catch up with coach?
“Not anytime soon to be honest with you, especially when our expectations continue to change,” Fleck said. “One thing about our program from this point forward is there is no ceiling. We’re going take and break the ceiling, break the glass ceiling, every single day.”