Toussaint asks for release from sports scholarship

Brad Unangst

Gophers defensive back Mackenzy Toussaint asked to be released from his athletics scholarship, a University official said Tuesday.

University sports information director Bill Crumley said Toussaint asked to be released, but no official announcement has been made regarding whether the release was granted.

The Star Tribune and The Associated Press reported Tuesday the University granted Toussaint an open release from his scholarship to transfer to another school.

However, neither organization cited any University sources, and no one contacted by The Minnesota Daily on Tuesday would confirm the release.

Jeff Vigil, a University associate general counsel, said Toussaint is scheduled to appear before the Campus Committee on Student Behavior on April 8.

The committee, established in 1932 by the Board of Regents, is a disciplinary body that issues sanctions against those violating the University’s student code of conduct.

Toussaint, a sophomore, along with former Gopher Steven Watson, was acquitted of first- and third-degree sexual assault charges in December.

Crumley did not comment on whether Toussaint’s request was in response to his criminal charges. He said Toussaint had not filed any transfer papers, and he did not know to which schools Toussaint was interested in transferring.

If Toussaint transfers to another Division I school, he would have to sit out a year under NCAA rules before competing in athletics.

The University would be able to grant his scholarship to another player next year.

Both Toussaint and Watson were suspended last season due to the sexual assault charges. The University suspends any
athlete charged with a felony.

University officials would not say if Toussaint’s scheduled appearance before the committee is related to his acquittal.

Vigil, slated to represent the University at the hearing, declined specific comment.

Earl Gray, Toussaint’s lawyer, did not return phone calls.

If Toussaint is found in violation of the student code of conduct, he could face sanctions ranging from a written warning to expulsion.

Vigil said he could not say whether the committee will hear the case if Toussaint transfers.

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