Gophers coach Kill defends his version of Barker's accusations

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2012 - 7:15 AM

The Gophers football coach said he would not change how he handled scholarships or the receiver's heated discussion with a trainer.

Jerry Kill had not been able to reach A.J. Barker by Monday afternoon, so he doesn't know whether the receiver quit the Gophers football team because he was berated in front of his teammates, or was offended that the coach didn't give him a scholarship.

But Kill made it clear Monday he would not have handled either dispute differently.

"You do not talk to an adult, somebody of authority, in that tone of voice," Kill said he told Barker last Thursday after noticing him having a heated discussion with the team's athletic trainer. "You can't be having a confrontation with an adult trainer, and it's OK. That's not what we ask of everybody else."

Kill called a news conference Monday morning to counter a series of interviews Barker gave Sunday and Monday in which the 21-year-old receiver accused the second-year Gophers coach of "recurring" hostility toward him.

The coach, 51, said he had indeed publicly reprimanded the junior receiver, but only to correct his behavior. He denied insulting Barker's family and saying he would never play another down, and insisted his motives were not to humiliate the player, but correct his behavior.

"I feel bad for A.J. I feel bad that's the way he feels about the situation, and I will do anything I can to help him in the future," Kill said of Barker's decision to transfer to another school for his senior year, and his 4,000-word blog post explaining it and containing several allegations about Kill's treatment of Barker. "But I don't treat my players any differently than I treat my own two daughters."

Barker's Internet post also made a one-sentence reference to a gay slur the St. Paul native alleged he was called by an assistant coach, but Kill said Monday, "Nobody's ever done that. I'm not around every single minute, but when I've been around, nobody's ever done that."

An athletic department spokesman said Kill and athletic director Norwood Teague had consulted over Barker's departure and accusations, and that no university investigation into the matter is planned.

Being berated in front of his teammates, and then flattered in private, triggered his decision to quit the team, the junior receiver said in an interview with KSTP radio Monday. But the heart of his unhappiness, Barker said, was his lack of a scholarship. In fact, Barker said, if he had been granted one of the Gophers' 85 football scholarships, he still would be on the team.

"If he gives me a scholarship, it shows public support, and it shows that he says, 'Hey, I recognize that this kid is legitimate, that this season isn't a fluke,'" Barker said.

Kill, though, said his options were limited by NCAA rules that require scholarships to be awarded by the first day of class each semester. By that time in September, the Gophers had played only one game -- a 30-27 victory over UNLV in which Barker, who had only one catch in his first three seasons on the team, made three receptions for 101 yards.

"I told him, 'If you continue to do what you're supposed to do, [you will get one],'" Kill said, presumably beginning next semester. "I said, 'You stay healthy and you play well, you'll be in the same situation.'"

Barker suffered a serious ankle sprain, however, while catching his seventh touchdown pass of the year against Purdue, and the damaged ligaments in his leg eventually led to the rupture with his coach. Team rules require players to follow treatment prescribed by the athletic trainers, and Kill maintained that Barker didn't do that.

On Thursday, Barker said, he and the trainer "were having a very good discussion. And Coach Kill came over and started attacking me." According to Kill, the discussion grew loud and heated, and as head coach he could not ignore it.

"I imagine I said it very vividly," Kill said. "And at the end of it, I can remember walking off and saying, 'Hey, you're a lot like me, you're a little bit bullheaded. I love you to death, but you've got to do the right things. And that was the end of it."

  • GOPHERS FOOTBALL

    Up next: 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Michigan State

    TCF Bank Stadium • BTN (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit 5 Bottom 5th Inning
Cleveland 1
Seattle 1 Top 7th Inning
Oakland 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona 0 Bottom 5th Inning
San Diego 1
San Francisco 3 Top 1st Inning
Colorado 0
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 10
Calgary 15
Indiana 71 4th Qtr 0:11
Chicago 69
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close