Before the Bottom Fell Out

Minnesara

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This may not be of interest to anyone and, if so, I apologize. I was going through old "stuff" while cleaning out my home in anticipation of selling it. I came across this sheet of paper with autographs from Gopher players and Jim Dutcher. It's from the 1985-86 season. Just before the bottom fell out with three (later acquitted) Gophers accused of rape in Wisconsin. The Gophers had just finished defeating the Badgers as a follow-up to beating #2 ranked Michigan. We were on a roll. It looked like we could seriously compete for the B10 title. Then the rape allegations destroyed everything. Dutcher resigned, we lost three players, and the season went down the tubes. Seems so typical for the luck of a Minnesota sports team/fan. The signatories are Jim Dutcher, John Shasky, Kevin (not Kelvin) Smith, Mark Wilson (top scorer), Terrance Woods and Mark Anderson. Gopher autorgraphs 1985-86 part 1.jpgGopher autographs 1985-86 part 2.jpgGopher autorgraphs 1985-86 part 1.jpgGopher autographs 1985-86 part 2.jpg
 


PhiloVance

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This may not be of interest to anyone and, if so, I apologize. I was going through old "stuff" while cleaning out my home in anticipation of selling it. I came across this sheet of paper with autographs from Gopher players and Jim Dutcher. It's from the 1985-86 season. Just before the bottom fell out with three (later acquitted) Gophers accused of rape in Wisconsin. The Gophers had just finished defeating the Badgers as a follow-up to beating #2 ranked Michigan. We were on a roll. It looked like we could seriously compete for the B10 title. Then the rape allegations destroyed everything. Dutcher resigned, we lost three players, and the season went down the tubes. Seems so typical for the luck of a Minnesota sports team/fan. The signatories are Jim Dutcher, John Shasky, Kevin (not Kelvin) Smith, Mark Wilson (top scorer), Terrance Woods and Mark Anderson. View attachment 18403View attachment 18404View attachment 18403View attachment 18404
Wonder what happened to Mitch Lee, Kevin Smith and George Williams after they were acquitted.
 


short ornery norwegian

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did a little searching. the only college stats I could find for Mitch Lee were his two seasons at MN.

I found an item stating that he was not selected in the 1988 NBA draft and was considered an undrafted free agent.

If he played overseas, haven't found anything so far.
 


PhiloVance

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This may not be of interest to anyone and, if so, I apologize. I was going through old "stuff" while cleaning out my home in anticipation of selling it. I came across this sheet of paper with autographs from Gopher players and Jim Dutcher. It's from the 1985-86 season. Just before the bottom fell out with three (later acquitted) Gophers accused of rape in Wisconsin. The Gophers had just finished defeating the Badgers as a follow-up to beating #2 ranked Michigan. We were on a roll. It looked like we could seriously compete for the B10 title. Then the rape allegations destroyed everything. Dutcher resigned, we lost three players, and the season went down the tubes. Seems so typical for the luck of a Minnesota sports team/fan. The signatories are Jim Dutcher, John Shasky, Kevin (not Kelvin) Smith, Mark Wilson (top scorer), Terrance Woods and Mark Anderson. View attachment 18403View attachment 18404View attachment 18403View attachment 18404
I believe Dutcher resigned from a school when George Gervin slugged an opposing player during a time out.
 

Holy Man

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did a little searching. the only college stats I could find for Mitch Lee were his two seasons at MN.

I found an item stating that he was not selected in the 1988 NBA draft and was considered an undrafted free agent.

If he played overseas, haven't found anything so far.
Bleed might have more details but I think he heard about him playing pro ball in South America back in the day. That’s what I recall.
 

GopherOhana

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thought dutcher resigned because U Prez Keller forfeited the next game.

didn't Lee sport a champaign glass haircut when he was acquitted of another sexual misconduct just prior to the madison incident?
 

Spaulding!No!

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I thought Clem was the bottom. What is this 1985 stuff. Wait, I don’t wanna know
 



WAGopher

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I thought Clem was the bottom. What is this 1985 stuff. Wait, I don’t wanna know
Just a complete over reaction from Keller and the administration. Same thing happened for Clem and Tracy Claeys. Yes, the situations were all serious, but the rush to punish before all the facts were known is the common thread.
 

BleedGopher

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Great stuff, thanks for posting the autographs. Fun to look at.

I hadn't seen that article on Williams before, sad to read.

I had a random connection with Mitch Lee about 5 years after this happened. We were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I belonged to Tulsa Southern Tennis and Fitness club and they had a really nice gym there where the Tulsa Zone of the CBA practiced. Mitch Lee was on the Zone and I'd go watch them practice and always had my Gopher clothes on (I was in middle school). Mitch would always come up to me and talk about the Gophers, he was always positive about his experience and once or twice said "I wish it had ended differently." Well one practice in particular was November 7, 1991 and I was watching them practice and they all left practice and ran to a TV as Magic was having his press conference announcing he was HIV positive. I ran with the team to see what was up and ended up next to Mitch during the entire press conference. Pretty random.

I lost track of him after his CBA days.

Go Gophers!!
 

Mulligan

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thought dutcher resigned because U Prez Keller forfeited the next game.

didn't Lee sport a champaign glass haircut when he was acquitted of another sexual misconduct just prior to the madison incident?
thought dutcher resigned because U Prez Keller forfeited the next game.

didn't Lee sport a champaign glass haircut when he was acquitted of another sexual misconduct just prior to the madison incident?
I liked Dutcher, but I think he knew he was gone and the forfeit was a convenient excuse. You had Lee not only accused of rape the year and celebrating the acquittal with a champagne glass haircut, but also a story that came out about him trying to beat the hell out of a teammate at practice. You also had Todd Alexander on that team. He was booted from that team for credit card theft not long after, but I'm quite sure Dutcher knew he made a big mistake recruiting Alexander. It seemed more like a "hell with it, I don't need this shit" moment than some sort of principled stand.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Just a complete over reaction from Keller and the administration. Same thing happened for Clem and Tracy Claeys. Yes, the situations were all serious, but the rush to punish before all the facts were known is the common thread.
Let me guess black mn violated white wi?
 



Plato

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It was a case of buyer's remorse.
There was sex.
The woman in question did not call the police unit mid-morning when the Gopher players were about to get on the airplane for MN.
I heard the defense attorneys were paid for by an MN booster making it a possible NCAA violation.
The players were acquitted but it was the last straw for the administration.
 

short ornery norwegian

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based on what I read, it was a he-said, she-said case.

woman meets basketball players. they go up to a hotel room. sex happens.
woman says it was rape. players say it was consensual.

a newspaper account of the trial indicated that the woman's story was thought to be inconsistent, in that she allegedly gave different versions to the police and to prosecutors.

jury acquitted all three players.
 




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