Tracy Claeys was quick to back his players when they announced a boycott last Thursday night after 10 Minnesota players were suspended for the Holiday Bowl in connection to a school investigation of an alleged sexual assault.
Minnesota’s boycott was short-lived. It ended Saturday morning, and the players will remain suspended as the Gophers prepare to play in next Tuesday’s Holiday Bowl against Washington State.
It appears Claeys will coach that game, but his future as the Gophers head coach is anything but clear. Earlier in the week, he said there is a “great chance” he could be fired for publicly backing his players with a tweet.
Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world! 〽️?
— GoldenGopherHFC (@GoldenGopherHFC) December 16, 2016
Claeys’ firing is exactly what a group of Minnesota residents wants to see. In a petition on MoveOn.org, a group asked Minnesota president Eric Kaler for Claeys to be terminated.
“Claeys’ tweet expressing his pride in the team failed to mention or acknowledge the importance of respecting women,” the group wrote. “Further, it did not condemn violence, sexual assault or disrespect of women. We feel this is not at all acceptable.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had 350 signatures and a goal of 400.