Gopher football player involved in brawl

9:06 PM, Sep 30, 2009   |    comments
Gopher linebacker Gary Tinsley
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DINKYTOWN -- There was a reason for celebration on the University of Minnesota campus after the Gophers beat Northwestern Saturday.  But what ensued into the late night hours, wasn't acceptable.

University police called it a "busy night" in Dinkytown.  Several fights broke out in the area, including one near the popular McDonald's.

But around 1am the scene at the 700 block of 15th Avenue was described at "huge."  A 911 caller said he estimated that fifty people were brawling.

The police report says the beer bottles were thrown at officers and a water bottle was thrown at a squad car, in which officers retaliated by firing a chemical irritant to disperse the crowds.

University police got a tip saying that a neighbor had information that several members of the Gopher football team were heading to a house at the corner of 7th and 15th Avenue to beat up the people inside.

The police report said that Gopher linebacker Gary Tinsley was spotted swinging around a wood board during the fight.

Tinsley ran away as fast as he could, dashing in between houses.  Police fired the pepperball irritant, but he still got away.

Today students reacted.

"It's really not that hard to behave yourself," said Patrick Duffy, a Sophomore.  "You can stay out of trouble, go to practice and go to class.  It's not that hard to do.

"They are students too and they have more responsibility to be smart and do the right thing," said Matt Evans, a senior.  "They have more to lose, like losing scholarships."

Tinsley was taken into custody but was not charged.  He was issued a couple citations, for fleeing police and underage drinking.

He was the only Gopher cited.  There's no confirmation if any other players were even there.

At least one other arrest took place in the Dinkytown neighborhood involving fighting.

"You want to treat players like any other student, most of them if not all of them are receiving tuition from the University," said Duffy.

The Athletic Department says Tinsley is currently not suspended and that this incident is an internal issue.

Two Gopher football players were suspended for two games earlier this week for violating team rules and policies.  There is no word if these players were involved in any of the Dinkytown fights.

The University of Minnesota play the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, which could be the most anticipated football game this season.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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