The nation’s third-leading shot-blocker has been suspended from the University of Minnesota’s campus until August of 2020, according to a report from the Pioneer Press.
The incident that Lynch has been suspended for is a separate incident from the allegation that resulted in a suspension back in May of 2016. He was allowed to play this season while the school investigated the new allegation. The police were not involved in the second investigation, per the report.
Reggie Lynch, a redshirt senior center from Edina, MN, has been “found responsible for violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy,” according to the paper, who obtained documents from the University of Minnesota’s Office Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
Lynch was suspended from the Minnesota team in the spring of 2016 stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a 19-year old woman in an on-campus apartment. He was arrested by the police and suspended during the police investigation, but ultimately was not charged and was eventually cleared by the school after an investigation by the EOAA.
That incident was widely reported.
And that, according to this report, is not the incident that has earned Lynch a two-and-a-half year suspension from school and ban from the campus. There was a separate sexual assault allegation that spring that was not reported to the police. It was investigated by the EOAA, and they reportedly have determined that Lynch violated the school’s sexual misconduct rules. The Star-Tribune is reporting that the accuser reported the incident this fall.
At a press conference on Friday morning addressing Lynch, Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle announced that Lynch was suspended from competition but that he was still a member of the basketball program. Both Coyle and head coach Richard Pitino stood behind student privacy laws when asked such simple questions as ‘When did you find out about the second investigation?’ and ‘Why was Lynch allowed to play while this investigation was pending?’ Neither had an answer for whether or not this second investigation was handed over to police.
“We do a lot of background and we never saw any red flags leading up to this,” Pitino said of his recruitment of Lynch. “We do as much background as we can with everybody we bring in.”
Lynch, who is averaging 10.1 points, 8.0 boards and 4.1 blocks this season, can appeal the decision.
Lynch enrolled at Minnesota at the start of the 2015-16 school year. He transferred to Minnesota from Illinois State, where he played his first two seasons. Barring a win on appeal, effective January 9th, Lynch will be suspended from the university and banned from the campus and all university events until August, 2020. As a redshirt senior, this would end his college basketball career.
Last year, Minnesota’s football team threatened to boycott a bowl game over the suspension of 10 players over an alleged sexual assault. In February of 2016, three players – including Nate Mason and Dupree MacBrayer, current starters – were suspended after former Gopher Kevin Dorsey posted explicit videos on his twitter page. In 2014, Daquein McNeil was kicked off the team following an arrest for a vicious assault on his girlfriend. He was again arrested for assaulting the woman in 2015 and has since been charged with murder for a deadly house fire that he set.