Last week, the University of Minnesota’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found center Reggie Lynch “responsible” for a “sexual misconduct incident” that took place on April 28, 2016. Lynch was suspended until 2020, pending an appeal. As the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported this afternoon, another EOAA investigation found that Lynch had violated the school’s sexual misconduct policies once again on April 7, 2016. Due to the repeat offenses, the EOAA recommended immediate expulsion for Lynch.
This is the second time Lynch has been found responsible for sexual misconduct, and he was also arrested for sexual assault in May 2016, though police did not press charges and a university investigation cleared him. The reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year returned to practice today, before the news of the second investigation had become public. Coach Richard Pitino allowed him back today as his appeal for the first ruling is being processed, and it’s not clear whether he was aware of the second investigation into Lynch or the university’s findings, which were dated January 3 and 4.
Minnesota AD Mark Coyle, who let Lynch keep playing while under multiple investigations, defended the decision to let Lynch keep practicing with the team:
“People should trust the procedures that we have in place,” Coyle said. “… Those procedures include providing due process for everybody involved. It’s my job as the athletics director, and coach (Richard) Pitino’s job as the head coach to make sure that we support everybody involved in every case we deal with.”
As for Pitino? Well:
Asked if the school’s policies, which allowed Lynch to play during the investigations and now practice during his appeal, need to change, Pitino shrugged.
“I’m just the basketball coach,” he said. “I don’t know.”