University of Minnesota center Reggie Lynch is “still a part of” the basketball program and can practice with the team despite being found responsible for violating the U’s sexual misconduct policy, athletics director Mark Coyle said Friday.

After an investigation by the university’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, it was determined that Lynch violated the school’s policies on sexual misconduct and on university rules during an incident in a dorm room in May 2016.

Lynch, a senior from Edina, plans to appeal a decision to suspend him from school and ban him from campus until at least Aug. 1, 2020, according to EOAA findings obtained by the Pioneer Press. During the appeal, he will be suspended from playing in games but is eligible to practice, receive medical treatment and have access to an academic adviser.

“We felt that when we suspend a student-athlete, we suspend them from a competition,” Coyle said. “We want to make sure that student-athlete has access to athletic medicine and treatment, academic services, an opportunity to continue to compete and be around this team. So, we thought it was important to go in that direction.”

Lynch will not play in the Gophers’ home game Saturday against Indiana. It was unclear whether he will be at Williams Arena for the 4:15 p.m. tipoff. The 2016-17 Big Ten defensive player of the year has averaged 10 points, 7.7 points and 3.9 blocks in 15 games this season for the Gophers (13-3 overall, 2-1 Big Ten).

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