MN West President Richard Shrubb speaks on football incident in Brainerd

WORTHINGTON – The Minnesota West Community and Technical College President Dr. Richard Shrubb last week filed an appeal with the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, asking that all MN West athletic teams not be penalized for the actions of just a few. Because of an incident that occurred Oct. 26 during and after a state quarterfinal football game in Brainerd, the MCAC had put all MN West teams on probation. Shrubb is instead asking that the football program face suspension during a period of review, leaving the other teams untouched.

According to Shrubb, the incident involved intoxicated fans, racial slurs and a misunderstanding over a lack of handshakes after the game. An intense rivalry between the Bluejays and the opposing team, the Central Lakes Raiders, has existed for years. When Raiders fans close to the field began to taunt the Minnesota West players, making racial insults, tension was high.

The Central Lakes coach decided to forego the after game handshake, but some Bluejays misunderstood and began to cross the field. While the coaching staff quickly ushered them toward the bus, intoxicated fans caught them in the parking lot and tossed out more insults, which resulted in several of the Bluejay team members losing their tempers and eventually led to a Bluejay player getting punched by a fan.

According to Shrubb, Minnesota West has called for a racial investigation, referred to in the MnSCU system as a 1B investigation. Shrubb is also questioning whether the police investigation into the matter in Brainerd may not have been objective or professional.
He did say the four players who were involved in the incident were the same four who had been part of a complaint several weeks ago during a volleyball game.

Shrubb has enlisted the services of former Minnesota West President Ron Wood to head a committee designed to create recommendations for the funding and management of football and asked the MCAC to suspend the program for a period of time to allow for the review.

“I doubt it’s going to be necessary to the cut the program,” Shrubb stated this week. “…With a little bit of luck and some cooperation from MCAC, we can review this program and be right back on board with our team modified, but uninterrupted for next year so, I really don't see it being necessary for us to cancel our program at this time.”

For the rest of Radio Works Sports Reporter Jared Rademacher and News Director Justine Wettschreck’s interview with Shrubb, click on the link below.


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