Former Gophers Football Employee Raises Coaching Concerns
The whistleblower, described by WCCO CBS-Minnesota as a former student who worked for the program and Fleck for two years, agreed to speak with WCCO CBS-Minnesota on the condition of anonymity.Below is a short excerpt from the ex-staffer’s interview with WCCO.
“I see what happens when you speak up at the U. I was shocked at how Coach Fleck and his coaching staff really treated people.”
“I feel like a lot of these injuries are because of the high intensity at every practice,” he said. “Why are these players having these injuries when you want them for a game.”
This former worker said he saw for himself a player’s eyes spin, unable to walk straight after a powerful hit, only to be pushed back on the field.
These claims by the anonymous former Gophers employee fall in line with other players who have suffered career-ending injuries during practices. Alex Reigelsperger is a former Gopher player who suffered a serious neck injury during practice. Nolan Edmonds was a 2018 recruit, and he turned to a medical retirement are sustaining a concussion during practice and felt pressure to return sooner than he should have.
In total, WCCO CBS-Minnesota has reported that two dozen former players, parents, trainers, and coaches have spoken out and corroborated claims about the Gophers football program. This drew the attention of Ramogi Huma, a representative for the NCPA, who’s worked for two decades fighting for student-athletes.
“I definitely think there are some red flags there,” Huma said to WCCO. “There are injuries in football for sure. I think career-ending injuries, five people in the same class in such a short period of time that’s not so normal.
“When the National Athletic Trainer’s Association says you can kill a player with punishment workouts and not to do that it needs to be taken seriously,” Huma said to WCCO.
“This is a $15 billion industry, there’s no reason that players shouldn’t be able to go somewhere if they feel like they’re being mistreated or they are hurt physically, mentally. There needs to be support,” he said to WCCO.
To read the full report on the Gophers from WCCO CBS-Minnesota, click here.