Gophers leading receiver Barker says he's quitting team
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- November 18, 2012 - 8:04 PM
Gophers wide receiver A.J. Barker said via Twitter Sunday afternoon that he is quitting the team and will seek to transfer for his final season.
His tweet read: "Well, its official. I am done playing football for the University of Minnesota and I will be looking to transfer next season for my final yr."
He also created a Tumblr page where he published what he says was a letter he sent to head coach Jerry Kill, explaining why he is quitting. That letter -- which is more than 4,000 words long and contains some strong language -- has some harsh words for the head coach. It alludes to an apparent confrontation earlier this week. Barker, who has missed the past three games with a high ankle sprain, is still the team leader with 30 catches for 577 yards and seven TDs.
He wrote in the letter: "In light of that pathetic, manipulative display of rage and love you put on this past Thursday, I have come to the decision, with the guidance of my parents and my closest friends, that my time on this team has come to an end. It kills me that I have to do this before the season’s over, but this is the only way I can protect myself against the manipulation and abuse I’d have to endure from you the rest of this season."
UPDATE: Athletic director Norwood Teague on Sunday night issued a statement regarding Barker's departure that read:
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