Minnesota basketball player Reggie Lynch will leave the university after dropping his appeal of findings he committed sexual misconduct related to an April 2016 sexual assault.
"I did not commit any of the acts I'm accused of," Lynch said at a news conference in his attorney's office. "In today's climate people automatically assume you're guilty."
"My friends, family and anyone who knows me knows the truth; I have never and would never commit any of the acts I am being accused of. As the son of an amazing mother, I respect all women. I have become a victim of false allegations, and it deeply saddens me to what that can do to someone's life."
Minnesota's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action found Lynch guilty of misconduct in January, recommending expulsion from the school, a decision he immediately appealed.
Lynch is accused of sexually assaulting two women in April 2016. He was arrested in May 2016 but prosecutors in the case decided not to file charges against Lynch.
After appealing the decision, Lynch's expulsion was put on hold and the team benched him, although he was still eligible to play. Lynch's attorney criticized the university for its handling of the case but noted Lynch "intends to pursue his basketball career" at another school.
Lynch was a senior center averaging 10.1 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Gophers.