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

Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
Boston - A. Webster 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - J. Locke
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda
Washington - D. Fister 6:10 PM
Miami - T. Koehler
Chicago WSox - J. Quintana 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - J. Teheran
Cleveland - T. Bauer 7:10 PM
Minnesota - P. Hughes
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Seattle - T. Walker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Arizona - C. Anderson 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Cincinnati - D. Holmberg 7:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Lackey
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 8:35 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
Texas - L. Bonilla 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
San Francisco - T. Hudson 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Colorado 9:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
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: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close