Minnesota Basketball Player Suspended for Misconduct

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Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)


University of Minnesota men's basketball star Reggie Lynch faces suspension and a complete ban from campus until at least 2020 after a school investigation found him responsible in a sexual misconduct incident.

The school's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) office began investigating Lynch last fall after a woman filed a complaint saying that he assaulted her in his dorm room in Roy Wilkins Hall on April 28, 2016. The U told both Lynch and his accuser that Lynch's suspension will begin Tuesday unless he appeals, according to records obtained by the Star Tribune.

Lynch can request a hearing by the Student Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee (SSMS) if he disagrees with the finding. The SSMS would issue its own decision. Thursday's finding will not take effect if Lynch requests an SSMS hearing.

If Lynch doesn't file an appeal, then Thursday's decision stands. Last year's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is playing in his final year of college eligibility.

The woman who filed the complaint against Lynch declined to comment late Thursday.

Lynch transferred to Minnesota after playing two seasons at Illinois State. He sat out the 2015-16 season and immediately became the Gophers' starting center last season.

This season, Lynch, 23, has been averaging career highs of 10 points, eight rebounds and a Big Ten-leading four blocks in 15 starts.

The 6-foot-10 Edina native set a single-season record at the U with 114 blocks.

But he's also seen trouble. In May 2016, Lynch was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a campus apartment. The Hennepin County attorney declined to press charges, citing insufficient evidence. He was suspended from the team at that time.

The university also investigated the May 2016 incident and cleared him in that case.

The new suspension focuses on an incident the month before the already investigated May incident. The April incident occurred in Lynch's dorm room, the woman said.

Lynch is a former all-state player at Edina High School. He has been discussed as an NBA prospect.

Lynch's lawyer and family didn't return calls seeking comment nor did Gophers coach Richard Pitino.

The Gophers play host to Indiana on Saturday.

Staff writer Marcus Fuller contributed to this report. rochelle.olson@startribune.com 612-673-1747 brandon.stahl@startribune.com 612-673-4636

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