Minnesota coach PJ Fleck pushes back against abuse allegations within program

Minnesota coach PJ Fleck pushes back against abuse allegations within program originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Minnesota football coach PJ Fleck is facing allegations of abuse within the school’s program, with multiple former players quoted in a story alleging emotional and physical harm.

The report, released Wednesday by Front Office Sports, was disputed by Fleck during a podcast appearance on NBC Sports Chicago’s ‘Big Ten Country’ this week.

“They’re just baseless allegations,” he said. “We have the full support of our athletic director and our university leadership. These allegations have been looked into multiple times since 2017, so our focus is on our football team for 2023.”

Fleck will address media in Indianapolis at Big Ten Media Days on Thursday, and will give a full statement on the report, according to the school.

Two former players made allegations against the program, including that the coaching staff used strenuous workouts as punishments in violation of NCAA rules, and that the team used community service appearances as “Fleck Bank” credits to avoid suspensions and other punishments.

The school is quoted in the story, arguing that investigations into allegations did not find “any rule violation or other misconduct,” with the athletic department stating “we are investing more in student-athlete well-being than we have at any time in our department’s history.”

Fleck was hired at Minnesota prior to the 2017 season after spending four seasons at Western Michigan. In six seasons, the Gophers have a record of 44-27, and have won four bowl games, including last year’s Pinstripe Bowl.

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