Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Kill: I treated Barker like I treat my daughters

Posted by: Phil Miller under Gopher coaches Updated: November 19, 2012 - 1:36 PM

      Jerry Kill sounded more surprised than upset Monday over A.J. Barker's sudden, public departure from the Gophers' football team, but the coach defended his handling of the junior receiver.
     "I feel bad for A.J. I feel bad that's the way he feels about the situation," Kill said of Barker's 4,000-word explanation for quitting the team. "But I don't treat my players any differently than I treat my own two daughters."
     Kill, at a news conference called Monday in response to a series of media interviews Barker has conducted since announcing his departure, said he interceded during practice last Thursday when he noticed Barker having a "confrontation" with the team's athletic trainer. "I called A.J. over and let him know I wasn't very happy. ... Players have to do all the things we ask all our player to do," Kill said. Barker had not followed the trainers' instructions for treating the ankle injury that had kept him out of action for three weeks, Kill said, and he "very vividly" made it clear that that was unacceptable.
     "You do not talk to an adult or someone of authority in that voice," Kill said, describing what he told Barker after finding out about his conversation with the training staff.
     Once practice ended, Kill said, he had another 20-minute conversation with the 21-year-old receiver, in which he emphasized how much success he could achieve if he followed instructions.
     Barker, in his explanation posted on a blog, called that second conversation particularly offensive, saying it was an attempt to "manipulate" and "deceive" him.
     Kill said he has tried to contact Barker since the story became public, but has not spoken to the receiver. Barker, in an interview on KSTP Radio, said he was particularly upset that Kill had not awarded him a scholarship for his strong play -- the junior walk-on remains the team's leading receiver, with 30 catches and seven touchdowns this season.

       But Kill said Monday that the football team's 85 scholarships have to be awarded by the first day of classes, and the Gophers had played only one game by that time -- a 30-27 victory over UNLV in which Barker caught three passes for 101 yards.
     The coach defended his methods as a disciplinarian, and said he has "saved" many players with his approach. "When you have a roster of 120 players, to keep them all happy isn't possible," Kill said. "I'm not here for a popularity contest."

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 0 1st Qtr 10:32
Rice 3
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT