Norwood Teague says 'U' wishes A.J. Barker well, understands chagrin
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University of Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague issued a response on Sunday evening in the wake of Gophers receiver A.J. Barker' abrupt decision to quit the football team.
"Coach Kill received an email from A.J. Barker today notifying the Coach that he has quit the team," Teague said in a statement.
"Coach Kill tried reaching out to A.J. after receiving the email, but was unable to connect with him. We understand A.J.'s frustration with his injury, and we regret that he has chosen to leave the team on these terms. Our concern first and foremost is student athletes and we wish A.J. well."
After taking to Twitter around 4 p.m. on Sunday to announce that he was leaving the team, Barker followed by posting a scathing, long-form letter that he said he sent to coach Jerry Kill.
In the post, Barker criticized Kill and his staff on several different subjects, including the handling of an ankle injury that he suffered on Oct. 27 against Purdue.
He reiterated his stance in an interview with 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson, adding that he "didn't want to be the guy who said nothing."
Barker is the team's leading receiver, having totaled a team-high 577 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in eight games.