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Minnesota on verge of canceling trip to Holiday Bowl, report says

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It looks as if Minnesota will not participate in the Holiday Bowl against Washington State after all.

A late-night summit between university president Eric Kaler, athletic director Mark Coyle, two university regents and members of the football team — which has threatened to boycott the game — did not result in the parties finding common ground, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported late Friday. Sources close to the situation told the newspaper the university has until noon CT (1 p.m. ET) Saturday to decide whether it will participate in the Dec. 27 game, and that players were preparing a morning statement saying they will forgo the contest.

Kaler earlier Friday declined to meet the players' demands to revoke the suspension of 10 teammates who are connected to a sexual assault investigation from September, saying "the University of Minnesota will not change our values or our code of conduct for the sake of a bowl game."

Five of the players (Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson) face potential expulsion from the university in connection with the investigation, while players Seth Green, Kobe McCrary, Mark Williams and Antoine Winfield Jr. face one-year suspensions. The 10th player, Antonio Shenault, faces probation.

Northern Illinois reportedly is slated to replace the Gophers in the Holiday Bowl, though logistical concerns place their participation in doubt. The next teams up would be either Cal or Arizona State, 5-7 teams that lost to Washington State earlier this season.


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