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."

 

  • 194
  • Comments

  • Results per page:

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers men's hockey season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT