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U of M office recommends expulsion for Lynch after another sex assault allegation

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Center Reggie Lynch drives to the basket against Rashaan Holloway in Nov.
In this Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, photo, Minnesota center Reggie Lynch (22) drives to the basket against UMass center Rashaan Holloway during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in New York.
Mary Altaffer | AP 2017

Updated: 8:40 p.m. | Posted: 6:05 p.m.

Another sexual assault allegation has led to a recommendation that University of Minnesota star basketball player Reggie Lynch be expelled from the school. He's appealed the expulsion recommendation made by the university's office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

Last week, according to a letter obtained by MPR News Tuesday, the EOAA made the recommendation that Lynch be expelled for an incident at an off-campus location on April 7, 2016. This is a different incident than others reported before.

According to the recommendation, Lynch was accused of sexual assault and an investigation by the EOAA concluded he'd violated the sexual misconduct policy in the student code of conduct.

Late last week, the EOAA recommended Lynch be suspended through August 2020 for a separate alleged incident on April 28, 2016. 

That's when a 20-year-old woman alleges Lynch sexually assaulted her in Roy Wilkins Hall.

He has appealed that recommendation as well.

The EOAA has a lower standard of proof than a criminal court.

Addressing that first publicized EOAA report last Friday, University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Mark Coyle said Lynch is suspended from athletic competition, but can still practice and is still a member of the program.

  "What I can say is, and I know it is frustrating because of student privacy laws both federal and state, we are restricted on what can say and what we can't say," Coyle said.

Lynch is a 6-foot-10 center from Edina and last year's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He transferred from Illinois State in 2015.

In a statement provided by a university spokesperson Tuesday night, the University said that once presented with EOAA findings, the "athletics director then makes a decision if an interim athletic suspension will be imposed as the student discipline process continues. The University followed these procedures and the University stands by Mark Coyle's decision."

It's not clear if Coyle knew of the recommendation to expel Lynch. Coyle and Gopher basketball coach Richard Pitino did not respond to a request for comment.

Almost a year ago, the university disciplined 10 football players for allegations of sexual misconduct.

The players appealed the EOAA's decisions and some received lighter school-issued punishments as a result.

Coyle said last week the university has taken steps to educate all student athletes about sexual misconduct and investigates reports appropriately and swiftly.

  "We have procedures that have been reviewed by outside agencies," Coyle said. "We have procedures people have focused on and followed and those procedures include providing due process for everyone involved."

An attorney for Lynch is expected to speak with media Wednesday.