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Archive for Saturday, October 15, 2005

Vikings owner angry

Wilf embarrassed by allegations of sex cruise

October 15, 2005

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— Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is angry and embarrassed over accounts of drunkenness and sexual misbehavior by his players on a charter cruise, and said Friday the team now would have a conduct code.

Wilf, in his first comments since the boat party last week, said he had apologized to the governor. He also has spoken with his players, who will be held to a code demanding "high standards, high morals and success."

"I expressed my anger and I expressed my embarrassment, my embarrassment on behalf of my family and for the people who work hard here," Wilf said, regarding his remarks to the players.

Stephen Doyle, a lawyer representing the boats' owners, has said cornerback Fred Smoot paid for one of the cruises on Lake Minnetonka. A total of about 90 people were present, Doyle said. They returned to shore more than two hours early when crew members complained of wild, lewd behavior.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is investigating, and no charges have been filed.

Wilf said coach Mike Tice's job was not in jeopardy. The Vikings, expected to have a strong team this season, are 1-3.

Wilf and the Vikings have been pursuing state money to build a $675 million stadium. State Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson said Wilf called him Wednesday to apologize, and the lawmaker said the stadium deal was "off the radar screen," the West Central Tribune of Willmar reported.

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