MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota coach Tracy Claeys said Sunday that he knew he was risking his job last week when he expressed support for players who boycotted practices and threatened to skip a bowl game if 10 teammates who were suspended after a sexual-assault investigation weren't reinstated.
Claeys also said in an interview on WCCO Radio that he plans to donate $50,000 to support victims of sexual assault.
The standoff with university administrators ended Saturday when the team backed down and said they would play in the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl against Washington State in San Diego, even though officials declined to reinstate their suspended teammates. The players agreed after getting assurances that the accused will get a fair hearing.
After the team announced the boycott Thursday, Claeys publicly backed his players. "Have never been more proud of our kids," he tweeted at the time. "I respect their rights (and) support their effort to make a better world!"
On Sunday, Claeys told the radio station that he and his team met before the players decided on the boycott. He said he told them "about all the different fallouts. One was that they might not be able to play in the bowl game. Two is that we knew that there was going to be a group who took the stance that we were being pro-sexual assault, which we're not. And then I told them there's a great chance I could lose my job over this."
Claeys said his players weren't condoning sexual assault or harassment, but they believed their suspended teammates were denied due process.
UCF 80, MIAMI (OHIO) 73, OT: Tacko Fall had a career-high 31 points and added 10 rebounds as the host Knights (8-3) snapped a two-game losing streak.
NO. 4 BAYLOR 107, JOHN BROWN 51: Johnathan Motley had 20 points and nine rebounds as the host Bears (11-0) routed the NAIA's Golden Eagles.
NO. 8 GONZAGA 86, TENN. 76: Nigel Williams-Goss scored 20 for the visiting Bulldogs (11-0) in Nashville. Gonzaga scored the first eight and never trailed.
NO. 2 N. DAME 85, TOLEDO 68: Brianna Turner had 16 of her 26 points in the first half and shot 11-of-13 from the field for the visiting Irish (10-1).
NO. 6 S.C. 66, NO. 9 UCLA 57: Alaina Coates had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the host Gamecocks (9-1), who pulled away from the Bruins (8-2) with a 17-3 run to start the third quarter.
NO. 8 L'VILLE 89, EVANSVILLE 47: Kylee Shook had career bests of 18 points and 10 rebounds for the host Cardinals (11-2), who held the Purple Aces to 24 percent shooting.
TENN. 59, NO. 10 STANFORD 51: Diamond DeShields scored 15 for the host Volunteers, who erased an early 11-point deficit and snapped a six-game winning streak by the Cardinal (8-2).
MEN'S SOCCER: Bob Butehorn, who led Florida Gulf Coast to NCAA Tournament appearances in four of the past seven seasons, has been named coach at USF. He replaces George Kiefer, who accepted the job at N.C. State.
Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.