Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball center Reggie Lynch suspended until 2020 for sexual assault

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Reggie Lynch (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Reggie Lynch (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team was handed another blow with a report on Thursday night when it was reported that Reggie Lynch has been suspended.

The Reggie Lynch era of Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball has been effectively ended. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported late Thursday night that Lynch was suspended from both the University and the team until 2020 due to being found responsible for sexual assault in his dorm room in spring of 2016.

This incident is not related to the rape allegations against Lynch which also occurred in 2016. In that case, Lynch was arrested, but wasn’t charged and was cleared by a school investigation when the school’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action found it “more likely than not that Lynch reasonably believed the sex was consensual.”

The incident that Lynch has now been suspended on occurred in spring of 2016 with a victim being a 20-year-old from a separate university. Lynch wasn’t suspended during the investigation due to the lack of a police investigation in the incident, according to the Pioneer Press.

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Lynch is not eligible to register at the University of Minnesota no earlier than August 1, 2010 according to the report. Lynch is also banned from campus and all university events.

It is hard to turn to a sports angle in stories like this, but we are a sports site. Lynch’s departure will greatly affect Richard Pitino’s program. The senior center was the only center that was trusted on the court and the team will now have to turn to the likes of Bakary Konaté and Gaston Diedhiou to carry the load for the rest of the season.

The Gophers went into the season with high expectations, but have fallen from the ranks of a top 15 team to a team squarely on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament.

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Minnesota will play their first game possibly without Lynch on Saturday, Lynch could appeal the suspension. The game is a home game against the Indiana Hoosiers.