Gopher’s athlete Lynch confronts consequences for sexual assault

Gopher's basketball center Reggie Lynch has been under investigation for sexual assault charges dating from April 2016, and has been suspended and recommended for expulsion.

Gopher's basketball center Reggie Lynch has been under investigation for sexual assault charges dating from April 2016, and has been suspended and recommended for expulsion.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Senior Gopher basketball player Reggie Lynch has been suspended from the team after an investigation into sexual assault charges from a female student from April 2016, and now faces expulsion after another woman came forward with accusations last week. Lynch and his lawyers are appealing both the suspension and the threat of expulsion.

“I think the fact that Lynch has not yet been kicked off the team is particularly infuriating. It sends a dangerous message that men in power are allowed to treat and abuse women however they want while continuing to maintain their status,” senior Izzy Denny said.

This is the third set of sexual assault allegations against Lynch; he was arrested and suspended following charges against him from another female student in May 2016. Investigation by the University of Minnesota’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) office and the Hennepin County attorney’s office following that incident yielded insufficient evidence and cleared Lynch, at which point he was reinstated on the team.

Following this round of investigation into the April 2016 allegations, the EOAA recommended Lynch’s suspension until at least 2020. While fighting the suspension, Lynch is still practicing with the Gopher team, though he receives no playing time.

“[Lynch] should not be allowed to practice or use the team’s facilities and accommodations unless it is proven that he has not committed sexual assault. Male athletes are set on a higher platform than many others because of the revenue and attention they bring to the sport and the college, which should not be taken into consideration when dealing with a person who has been accused of sexual assault,” junior Annie Kristal said.

Male athletes are set on a higher platform than many others because of the revenue and attention they bring to the sport and the college”

— junior Annie Kristal

Lynch’s suspension does not bode well for the Gophers and affects how many fans view the team. College athletes draw significant spotlight to themselves, and according to 9th grader Thomas Reinhard, Lynch’s misconduct negatively influences his view of star athletes: “If they are a key player, the team loses strength. Their decision also brings a wave of hate and disrespect towards the college, the U [in this case]. These star athletes, Lynch and many more, are role models; people look up to them.”

Lynch’s case is not an isolated incident; in fact, the Gopher football team was under similar fire early last year when 10 members of the team were accused of sexual misconduct.

“Sexual assault is a terrible thing that should not be taken lightly by the team or the fans, and now that the two largest sports at the University of Minnesota have undergone sexual assault charges in the past few years, hopefully this will take a toll on their fan base and U students to bring more attention to sexual assault,” Kristal said.

In the Gopher football case, four players were cleared, two were suspended, and four were recommended for expulsion.

“I think it’s a corrupt system. Guys who commit immoral acts get free passes because of their athletic skill far too often,” junior Ethan Less said.

According to Lynch’s attorney Ryan Pacgya, Lynch denies both instances of sexual misconduct. Pacgya is taking time to determine whether Lynch should proceed with the appeals and fight both allegations, or if he should accept the suspension and step away from the case.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email