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The University of Minnesota Gophers announced Saturday they will end the team's boycott of all football activities, a walkout they originally said would continue until 10 players suspended over allegations of sexual assault were reinstated. "As a team we understand that what has occurred these last few days and playing football for the University of Minnesota is larger than just us," said wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky after meeting with the university's board of regents, president, and athletic director on Friday.
The suspension which sparked the boycott was ordered by the school's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action pursuant to an investigation into a female student's claim that a sexual encounter she had with several players was not consensual. The accused Gophers say she did give consent, and local law enforcement concluded there was "insufficient admissible evidence" for prosecution, noting that in videos of the encounter she did not appear to object to her circumstances.
The team described the boycott as a protest "that our brothers have been named publicly with reckless disregard in violation of their constitutional rights," and they were promised the accused players would receive a "fair hearing" as a condition of ending their strike. The Gophers will now be able to play in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.
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