Welch Dismissed by Gophers

Minnesota junior forward Dan Welch has been released from the team for academic reasons, the university announced Friday.

Welch, who had previously missed a year and a half of collegiate playing time due to academic trouble, had played in all but one game with the Gophers this season.

“He signed a contract with the university … and it appears he will not fulfill that contract,” said Gopher head coach Don Lucia, who was informed of the situation Friday morning.

Lucia did not elaborate on Welch’s contract, citing confidentiality concerns.

After missing all of 2000-01 and half of last season, Welch returned to the Gophers in late January 2002 and had 10 points in 19 games, helping Minnesota win the NCAA title.

He had five goals and five assists in 18 games this season. He played 36 games for Minnesota as a freshman in 1999-2000.

As of Friday, not all of Welch’s grades had apparently come in, but those that were available made it very likely that the needed academic standards would not be met.

“It’s time to move on,” said Lucia. “I feel bad for him; he’s a good kid.”

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