U should let police handle sex assault complaints

The University of Minnesota athletic program has been hit with yet another complaint of a sex assault involving an athlete. Reggie Lynch, the star center on the Gopher’s basketball team, was suspended this week after the university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) office found he had violated the school’s sexual misconduct policy after a woman accused him of assault, the second such accusation he has faced.

Both incidents happened in the spring of 2016. Lynch was arrested after the first, but no charges were filed for lack of evidence. This second assault was reported this past fall, more than a year after the alleged assault took place, and it took until now for the EOAA report to become public and for Lynch to face his penalty.

Lynch was able to remain on the team and play in games while this investigation was going on. Athletic Director Mark Coyle defended that decision, saying “People should trust the procedures we have in place.”

Frankly, there is little reason to trust this procedure after it suspended 10 U of M football players last year, only to have four exonerated upon appeal of the EOAA findings.

The University should start treating accusations of sexual assault like the criminal matters they are and turn them over to the police and county attorney’s office for investigation and prosecution.


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