Once the top-rated player in the Gophers football recruiting class of 2019, Jason Bargy faces a charge of domestic battery in Illinois and is no longer in Minnesota’s plans.
A four-star defensive end at Momence (Ill.) High School, Bargy was released from a Kankakee (Ill.) County detention center on $5,000 bail Tuesday after his Sunday arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5 on a Class A misdemeanor charge of domestic battery/bodily harm. The maximum penalty is one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Even before the arrest, the Gophers had moved away from their recruitment of Bargy six weeks ago because the staff had concerns about his collegiate eligibility, sources familiar with Bargy’s recruitment said.
Under NCAA rules, coaches cannot speak specifically about recruits until they sign a national letter of intent. Gophers coach P.J. Fleck spoke in general terms during his Tuesday news conference about how his program handles situations in which it has to part ways with recruits.
“We have standard policies in recruiting that every player that we recruit, every player who is committed to us must uphold the standard of what we feel is what we have in our culture now, not only us but in their high school program,” Fleck said. “A lot of times, if you don’t do that, you put yourself at risk.
“You’ve got to continue to do well academically, you’ve got to do well on the field, you’ve got to do well with your teammates,” he continued. “You’ve got to continue to serve in your high school. You’ve got to continue to make your life better. Just because you’ve committed and have your scholarship, doesn’t mean you’re on easy street and coasting.”
Fleck added that individual circumstances are considered, too, but the program has its guidelines.
“Once players have been offered or they are committed, we hold them up to the standards of what we have for our players here,” he said. “I think the players think the same way. When you are part of us, we feel like you’re a part of us even if you’re not here physically. We want to see your life improve and continue to improve. We don’t want to see you go backward. … You want to help them through anything that they’re going through.”
Bargy, 18, had been the No. 2-ranked recruit in Illinois and the No. 15-ranked weakside defensive end nationally in the 247Sports.com composite ratings of major recruiting services. The 6-4, 255-pounder gave the Gophers a verbal commitment on May 9.
Without Bargy, the Gophers have 23 verbal commitments for the Class of 2019. Minnesota ranks 38th nationally and ninth in the Big Ten in the 247Sports composite ratings. College football’s early signing date is Dec. 19, and Fleck’s aim is to have his entire class signed that day.