MINNEAPOLIS Members of the University of Minnesota football team were clearly prepared for the questions about the recent departure of wide receiver A.J. Barker, as several of the team's leaders offered little Tuesday when asked about the situation that has grabbed national headlines.
"I think we were pretty surprised," senior linebacker Mike Rallis said about Barker publicly quitting the team Sunday. "That's between Coach and A.J. I'm not going to get too much into that."
Barker, a redshirt junior who was not on scholarship, was the Gophers' leading receiver this year after making just one catch in two injury-plagued seasons. He suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for Minnesota's last three games. Unhappy with how second-year coach Jerry Kill has handled his injury and his lack of a scholarship, Barker took to Twitter and a 4,000-word blog post on Tumblr to cite his reasons for quitting.
Barker's public criticism of Kill and the ...