On Dec. 27, Minnesota (8-4) is slated to square off versus Washington State (8-4) in the National Funding Holiday Bowl.

“Slated” is the operative word in this scenario. Based upon the current state of the football program, there’s no guarantee this contest will take place.

The Minnesota football team is currently boycotting any football-related activities — including practice and bowl-related minutiae. This is in response to an on-going alleged sexual assault investigation involving 10 members of the football team:

The Star Tribune chronicled the entire ordeal dating back to this past September. 10 players were suspended on Wednesday over an alleged incident on Sept. 2. Five of the players in question are facing expulsion from the university. Four are facing a one-year suspension, and another is in line for probation.

This new investigation is said to have been engineered by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. This is completely separate from the initial inquiry.

None of the players in the initial criminal investigation were arrested. Prosecutors decided not to press charges, and thus the players returned to the team.

Head coach Tracy Claeys — with the support of university President Eric Kaler and Athletic Director Mark Coyle — suspended the 10 players (Tamarion Johnson, Kobe McCrary, Mark Williams, Seth Green, Antoine Winfield Jr., Ray Buford, Antonio Shenault, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin, and Dior Johnson) for the bowl game.

Kaler issued this statement:

“The need to take actions like this is incredibly disappointing. Unfortunately, these types of situations are difficult for the University because we are limited in what we can say. While we strive to be transparent in all that we do, the fact is that, under the law, our students have privacy rights that we value and respect.”

The response to this ruling has been quite strong:

Former NFL star defensive back Antoine Winfield Sr. — the father of one the suspended players — said his son would not remain with the team unless a change in leadership occurs:

Lastly, leading receiver Drew Wolitarsky offered this strong statement. It was clearly aimed at the administration:

Despite initiating the suspensions, Claeys tweeted this message out: