Gophers WR A.J. Barker quits team, blasts Jerry Kill, says assistant called him a "faggot"

Categories: U of M
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A.J. Barker to Jerry Kill: "I will work every day of my life to prove I'm nothing like you."
:::: UPDATE :::: Jerry Kill on A.J. Barker accusations: "If I feel bad about anything I feel bad for him"

After a thoroughly uncompetitive 38-14 loss at Nebraska Saturday, it was hard to imagine the weekend getting worse for the University of Minnesota football program. But that's exactly what happened yesterday when leading receiver A.J. Barker quit the team with a scathing feature-length blog post.

In his post, Barker, who has missed the Gophers' last three games with an ankle injury, blasts Jerry Kill for an alleged "pathetic, manipulative display of rage and love" during a practice last Thursday. Kill apparently thought Barker wasn't doing all he could to get healthy and back on the field and screamed at him (according to Barker), "YOU DON'T FUCKING GET TO TELL THE TRAINER WHAT TO DO!"

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"You took the one thing you had a say in (my football playing career and my future) and you held it against me in an attempt to break me, going as far as to tell me I'll never get a scholarship or see the field again," Barker, a St. Paul native, writes (click to page two to read the entire blog post).

Barker, a junior who leads the Gophers with 30 receptions, 577 yards, and seven touchdowns despite not having a scholarship, also alleges in his letter that an assistant coach called him "a faggot for [his] spiritual views" during a spring practice.

Barker's Twitter timeline took a turn for the bitter last Thursday, presumably coinciding with the practice incident with Kill (most recent tweets on top; older ones at bottom):

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Then came these (again, most recent tweets on top):

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After publishing the scathing blog post -- which generated reaction spanning the gamut from 'Barker's a baby' to 'Way to be brave, A.J.' -- the disgruntled receiver shed a bit more light on why he decided to throw coach Kill under the bus on his way out the proverbial door:

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The Barker story will certainly be a big talker as the Gophers prepare for their final home game of the season this Saturday against Michigan State, but thus far the only university response has been a statement issued last night by athletic director Norwood Teague.

"We understand A.J.'s frustration with his injury, and we regret that he has chosen to leave the team on these terms," Teague's statement says. "Our concern first and foremost is student athletes, and we wish A.J. well."

To read the full text of Barker's evisceration of Jerry Kill and the U of M football program, click to page two.

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