Minnesota Gopher standout Reggie Lynch has been suspended from school and the basketball team until 2020 barring appeal for allegedly violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy.
According to the report, Lynch has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her dorm room at Roy Wilkins Hall on April 28, 2016. An investigation by the school’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office led to the decision. If Lynch chooses not to appeal the decision, it will go into effect on January 9.
It may seem like a harsh decision for someone accused of sexual assault considering it’s uncertain if the police have been involved, but this isn’t the first time the standout center has been accused of sexual assault. Back in May of 2016, Lynch was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in a campus apartment. However, after looking into the incident, the EOAA ruled that it was more likely than not that Lynch reasonably believed the sexual contact was consensual.
During that ordeal, Lynch was suspended from the team while Minneapolis police looked into the case. He was later reinstated after the Hennepin County attorney chose not to charge him and the EOAA investigation was completed.
Lynch, who is currently playing his final year of college eligibility, is averaging 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks this season. Last year he set a single season record at Minnesota with 114 blocks and was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year.
How Will It Play Out?
It’s uncertain how the case will play out because details are still quite scant. What we do know is that the EOAA’s investigation into the sexual assault claim led to a different finding than the first incident where he was given the benefit of the doubt surrounding consent.
It seems likely that Lynch will seek legal council and file a formal appeal before the suspension goes into place on January 9.