Minnesota Sports Roundup: Gophers' leading receiver quits team, blasts KillMinnesota Sports
-- The leading wide receiver for the Golden Gophers has quit the team in a very public way.
The leading wide receiver for the Golden Gophers has quit the team in a very public way. A.J. Barker of St. Paul made public a four-thousand-word letter he emailed to Golden Gopher head coach Jerry Kill explaining why he was quitting the football team. Barker posted the letter onto an internet blog forum, and the rambling dissertation has already gained national attention. In the letter, Barker accuses Kill of being a being master manipulator who ridiculed him to the point of not wanting to play for Minnesota anymore. Barker says he was unhappy with how Kill treated him while he was recovering from an ankle injury. Barker also questioned why he had not been awarded an athletic scholarship despite leading the team in receiving this season. In addition, Barker accused one of Kill's assistant coaches of one time calling Barker by a derogatory word that carries negative social undertones. Kill has not made any comment on the situation, but U of M athletics director Norwood Teague released a statement saying he regrets that Barker chose to leave the team on these terms. Barker attended high school at DeLaSalle in Minneapolis.
The University of Minnesota men's basketball team moved to 4-0 on the season with a 72-57 win over Richmond on Sunday night. The game was closer than the final score indicated, as Richmond held two separate leads of nine-points in the first half, and led by seven-points with ten minutes left in the game. But, the Gophers outscored the visiting Spiders 30-to-8 in the game's final ten minutes to register the 15-point victory. Senior Rodney Williams of Minneapolis scored a team-high 15 points, while sophomore Andre Hollins of Memphis chipped in with 14 points. Hollins his a three-point basket that put Minnesota up for good 51-50 just past the midway point of the second half. The Golden Gophers play Duke on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the "Battle 4 Atlantis" Tournament at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Lakeville's Rachel Banham led the Golden Gopher women's basketball team to its second tournament championship in as many weekends when Minnesota knocked off Maine 77-60 in yesterday's Subway Classic Tournament at Williams Arena. Banham was named the tourney MVP after scoring 16 points in the title tilt. The victory was the 200th for Minnesota head coach Pam Borton at Minnesota. The Gophers are now 4-and-0 on the season and will play against Richmond in the opening game of a tournament this week in Cancun, Mexico.