Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino was asked Friday if the decision not to suspend center Reggie Lynch earlier in the season was the right choice in light of a second allegation of sexual assault that came out this week.
Pitino said he followed protocol in deciding to let Lynch play after discussing the situation in October with athletic director Mark Coyle. The senior is suspended indefinitely now and has not played the past two games after a university panel last week found him "responsible" for sexual misconduct in two April 2016 incidents.
"As I said before, when a difficult situation like this arises you go to your university officials and you follow the process and the policies," Pitino said Friday. "And I'm very comfortable we did that."
After Wednesday's 83-60 loss to Northwestern in Rosemont, Ill., Pitino said Lynch's status had not changed in that he was suspended from athletic participation but could practice with the team. Lynch will miss his third game Saturday when the Gophers play No. 5 Purdue at Williams Arena.
"We know this is a difficult situation for all parties involved," Pitino said Wednesday. "The first thing that I do is I go to my boss and university officials, ask them what's the policy, protocol and procedure. We followed those. So certainly it's difficult for everybody. That's why I go to my boss and the right people. I trust them and believe in them as well."
Lynch's attorney said Wednesday that his client "vehemently" denies the sexual assault allegations and has appealed the ruling and requested a hearing.
Gophers men’s basketball
11 a.m. Saturday vs. No. 5 Purdue (ESPN2)