At least six Gophers football players have been disciplined and have not been allowed to practice recently in preparation for the Quick Lane Bowl for violating team rules, multiple sources told the Star Tribune. The players face suspension and could miss the Dec. 26 bowl game against Georgia Tech in Detroit.
Coach P.J. Fleck and athletic director Mark Coyle did not return messages Tuesday seeking comment.
The alleged team rule violations reported from the sources do not involve assault or violence. Sources cited reasons for the disciplinary action, and the names of some players involved, but since those details have not been confirmed, the Star Tribune is not publishing that information. The number of players disciplined is said to be between six and eight, several sources said.
The Gophers (6-6) qualified for the Quick Lane Bowl by reaching six wins in Fleck’s second year as coach with a 37-15 victory over Wisconsin on Nov. 24. The team rule violations came following that game, Minnesota’s first win over Wisconsin since 2003.
This marks the second time in three years that the Gophers are expected to be without several players for their bowl game because of disciplinary reasons. In December 2016 when Tracy Claeys was the Gophers coach, the university suspended 10 players ahead of the Holiday Bowl in connection with an alleged sexual assault that September. After multiple appeals in 2017, five players had their suspensions overturned, four were expelled and one received a one-year suspension.
Also on Tuesday, the Gophers learned they will be without senior linebacker Blake Cashman, who announced he will skip the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft.