Ten Minnesota football players were suspended in December 2016 following a sexual assault investigation, and nine of the 10 are seeking $45 million -- $5 million per player -- in damages from the school according to ESPN.
The 10 players were suspended in the wake of an allegation by a woman who claimed they had nonconsensual sex with her at a party. The players denied that incident was nonconsensual. The lawsuit claims that intentional racial and gender discrimination by Minnesota caused irreversible damage to the reputations of the players.
"Would these guys have earned $5 million in their lifetimes?" said Dave Madgett, the lawyer representing the players. "I think that's a fair number. These guys aren't hirable at General Mills."
According to the report, Madgett says the school ignored evidence to build a case against the 10 players.
The suspension of the 10 players in December set off a month-long drama that put the Gophers' appearance in the Holiday Bowl in jeopardy. The rest of the roster Washington State, which took place on Dec. 27, 2016. They later rescinded the boycott, and the game went on as planned.the bowl game vs.
Five of the 10 players -- defensive back Antoine Winfield, Jr., quarterback Seth Green, defensive back Antonio Shenault, running back Kobe McCrary and running back Carlton Djam -- were eventually reinstated and/or had expulsions reduced to suspensions. Winfield, Green and Shenault are still on the Gopher roster.
The dominoes that fell one week after the game weren't planned, though.
Shortly after the potential boycott was announced, coach Tracy Claeys sent this tweet.
Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world! 〽️🏈— Tracy Claeys (@t_claeys) December 16, 2016
Minnesota fired Claeys one week after the bowl game, citing his response to the attempted boycott as one of the factors.
Claeys took over for Jerry Kill midway through the 2015 season after serving as a fill-in for Kill prior to that as Kill fought through epilepsy. Claeys was 11-8 in one-and-a-half seasons as full-time coach, and won both bowl games with the Gophers. He was hired as Washington State's defensive coordinator in January 2018.
ESPN reports that the school will "vigorously" defend itself in the case.