MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota basketball coach Richard Pitino announced Tuesday that Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer have been suspended for the rest of the season.
The Gophers host Wisconsin Wednesday night at Williams Arena before traveling to Rutgers on March 5. Minnesota will then head to the Big Ten Tournament, where it is guaranteed at least one game.
Dorsey, Mason and McBrayer sat out the Gophers loss at Illinois Sunday night for what was deemed a violation of team rules. Dorsey has been linked to a video involving sex acts with a woman that was posted to his Twitter account before being deleted. His account has also been deleted since.
“We had to make some difficult decisions but after a couple days of long hard thinking and talking everything over with my staff, we made decisions that we felt were necessary,” Pitino said. “It’s a privilege to be a member of the University of Minnesota basketball program – something as a coaching staff we do not take lightly and that we stress daily to our student athletes. In this instance, these student-athletes failed to meet the standards we have set. ”
Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz released a statement on the suspensions on Tuesday.
“Coach Pitino and I have had extensive discussions during the last several days, and I support his decision to suspend three student athletes for the remainder of the season. The privilege of representing the University of Minnesota comes with great responsibility and we hold all of our student-athletes accountable,” Goetz said.
Pitino had previously said on his radio show Monday night that he expected all three to be back for Wednesday’s game against the Badgers.
Mason leads the Gophers in scoring at 13.8 points per game, Dorsey averages about 6.8 points per game and McBrayer scores about six. Mason has started every game this season, McBrayer has started 14 of the 27 games and Dorsey has come off the bench all year.
It’s not immediately clear if Mason and McBrayer have been linked to the video posted on Twitter involving Dorsey.
Dorsey already missed a game early in the season for “failing to meet the academic standards of the program.” Pitino dismissed senior Carlos Morris from the team this year for what was deemed conduct detrimental to the team.
“At the end of the day I’m responsible for everybody I’ve brought here. I’ve got their best interests at heart, I want them to be better people,” Pitino said.
When asked about the chances Dorsey, Mason and McBrayer of staying with the program after the season or transferring, Pitino said he wouldn’t know how to speculate that.
The Gophers will have eight players, including six scholarship players, when they host Wisconsin Wednesday night. Dorsey, Mason and McBrayer will still be able to practice and will be on the bench, but won’t be able to play in games the rest of the season. Pitino said he is not aware of any criminal investigations associated with the suspensions.