U. Minnesota's Top WR Leaves Program After Verbal Abuse, Homophobic Slur, Anti-Atheist Sentiment

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    Nov 27, 2012 3:40 PM GMT
    http://ajbarker82.tumblr.com

    This blog post from Mr. Barker is worthwhile reading.

    This goes beyond the garden-variety "he called me names, so I quit," to reveal (allegedly) how extensive verbal abuse and manipulation remains among our college football programs, even the not-so-successful ones.

    To the Mike Leaches and Sean Woodses of the world, you're on notice: we're on to you, now. Abusive behavior is not a requirement for the sausage-making of a successful athletic program. That goes for the staff as well as the head honchos.

    It got more publicity because of the alleged 'f@ggot' slur by an assistant coach, as Outsports picked this up. But it got hardly a bit of national attention because Minnesota's far from a BCS contender and his departure went down right before Thanksgiving's football-mania weekend.

    http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2012/11/21/minnesotas-a-j-barker-quits-team-accuses-coaches-of-abuse-and-gay-slurs/
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    Nov 27, 2012 3:47 PM GMT
    A.J. BarkerSo, Considering I wasn’t healthy for the whole season and the fact you’re willing to hold a scholarship against me (which means nothing to me or my family), I don’t WANT a scholarship from you or the institution you represent. I don’t WANT to regain your approval. You referenced my spiritual views on three different occasions claiming “if I were a bad person I’d hold it against you”. Well, Coach Kill, taking everything into account, the fact you felt the need to say that on three different occasions goes to show that it probably did play a part in your views of me.
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    Nov 27, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    A.J. BarkerThere’s nothing special about me?

    I’m a dime a dozen?

    You don’t know what “fucked up things happened to me to screw me up so much as a person”?

    My stock fell as a person since I got injured?

    You had 5 of me at Northern Illinois?

    You say I’ll never earn a scholarship under you? That I don’t deserve one?

    …And then you followed this outburst of rage with an attempt to love me in the most manipulative, deceitful way possible.

    You “love” me?

    You think I can be a special player?

    You think I have what it takes to go to the NFL?

    Me and you are the same?

    I think I have life all figured out?
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    Nov 27, 2012 4:06 PM GMT
    A. J. BarkerMe and you are the same?

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are not the same. And I will work every day of my life to prove I’m nothing like you. I dream of coaching a division one college football team one day and I promise I will treat my players with a level of respect and honesty that you were never strong enough to be capable of doing.
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    Nov 27, 2012 6:40 PM GMT
    dayumm said
    To the Mike Leaches and Sean Woodses of the world, you're on notice: we're on to you, now. Abusive behavior is not a requirement for the sausage-making of a successful athletic program. That goes for the staff as well as the head honchos.


    I haven't heard of any of this happening but none of this really surprises me. Even though the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities is an awesome school, it's somewhat of an open secret that its sports program is insanely corrupt. (then again what big-10 program isn't?) I really think it's a damn shame because one of my close friends is also friends with him and he really is a smart, talented kid.
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    Nov 27, 2012 6:41 PM GMT
    I know someone who plays for the team...very interesting
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    Nov 27, 2012 6:45 PM GMT
    Yikes. Sounds horrific.

    Barker needs to learn how to edit himself SEVERELY, though. That letter could have made all the points it needed to in a page or a page and a half and it would have been vastly more effective. Hope he keeps going to class.
  • calibro

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    Nov 27, 2012 7:30 PM GMT
    umm... that's not really the issue at all. he quit because he had an injury mismanaged and told he'd not be given a scholarship
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    Nov 27, 2012 8:02 PM GMT
    Wow- I could feel his intensity in all of that. I found it to be a good read.
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    Nov 27, 2012 8:46 PM GMT
    calibro saidumm... that's not really the issue at all. he quit because he had an injury mismanaged and told he'd not be given a scholarship


    That's much closer to the truth, than just "he left BECAUSE of the anti-gay/anti-atheist sentiment," that you see on some other sites discussing this.

    He was willing to ride-out for the opportunity for a scholarship in his senior year. And while we don't know what he did behind the scenes to deal with it, he stayed on the team despite the assistant coach's slur back in the spring, and despite the anti-atheist browbeating from his coaching staff all year.

    Even despite getting passed over in favor of a kicker for the final scholarship, the walk-on still managed to earn playing time and lead the Gophers in receiving yards until he could no longer practice due to his injuries.

    But the verbal abuse from the head coach while fighting to get medical attention for his injury, and while appearing to be on the way to resolving it with the medical staff, was exactly the rotten cherry he needed to see the whole crap sundae for what it was.

    What should have been the issue, "he had an injury mismanaged and told he'd not be given a scholarship," as you note, was compounded beyond repair by a head coach who apparently thinks (kid's paraphrasing) “fucked up things happened to (the player) to screw (him) up so much as a person,” and apparently thinks berating people out of their high ankle sprains/ligament tears, in front of the team, them cajoling them in private so he can maybe have a snowball's chance against Michigan, is the best medicine.

    Jerry Kill, who of all people should know what it's like to be incapacitated temporarily (routine seizures, including last week's) but still motivated despite what others might think to perform to the best of his ability, should certainly know better.

    What Kill needs to be concerned about is, is his medical staff competent enough to have the guts to tell him when his top WR is unable to go? Surely the kid is not the last player to try to play through an injury. Is the medical staff in a position to say, "STOP!" to the kid, and "NO!" to the coaches?

    And, IF you have a coaching staff member openly dropping F-bombs on students while challenging their theistic principles, and either the staff member was not reprimanded, or you're not even made aware of it? Loss of Institutional Control, Anyone?
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    Nov 27, 2012 10:37 PM GMT
    Bullwinklemoos said
    dayumm said
    To the Mike Leaches and Sean Woodses of the world, you're on notice: we're on to you, now. Abusive behavior is not a requirement for the sausage-making of a successful athletic program. That goes for the staff as well as the head honchos.


    I haven't heard of any of this happening but none of this really surprises me. Even though the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities is an awesome school, it's somewhat of an open secret that its sports program is insanely corrupt. (then again what big-10 program isn't?) I really think it's a damn shame because one of my close friends is also friends with him and he really is a smart, talented kid.


    You're thinking of the SEC.
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    Nov 28, 2012 12:21 AM GMT
    blackhawksfan said
    Bullwinklemoos said
    dayumm said
    To the Mike Leaches and Sean Woodses of the world, you're on notice: we're on to you, now. Abusive behavior is not a requirement for the sausage-making of a successful athletic program. That goes for the staff as well as the head honchos.


    I haven't heard of any of this happening but none of this really surprises me. Even though the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities is an awesome school, it's somewhat of an open secret that its sports program is insanely corrupt. (then again what big-10 program isn't?) I really think it's a damn shame because one of my close friends is also friends with him and he really is a smart, talented kid.


    You're thinking of the SEC.


    I'm new to football. icon_redface.gif
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    Nov 28, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    blackhawksfan said
    Bullwinklemoos said
    dayumm said
    To the Mike Leaches and Sean Woodses of the world, you're on notice: we're on to you, now. Abusive behavior is not a requirement for the sausage-making of a successful athletic program. That goes for the staff as well as the head honchos.


    I haven't heard of any of this happening but none of this really surprises me. Even though the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities is an awesome school, it's somewhat of an open secret that its sports program is insanely corrupt. (then again what big-10 program isn't?) I really think it's a damn shame because one of my close friends is also friends with him and he really is a smart, talented kid.


    You're thinking of the SEC.


    Nah-ah. (unless you mean "Inasanely Corrupt") icon_razz.gif

    Gophers are still Big 10. Of course, by the time I've typed this that could change!