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SLU basketball coach Travis Ford holds press conference

Saint Louis Billikens guard Adonys Henriquez ices his knee on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in the practice gym in Chaifetz Arena. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Social media posts made by St. Louis University basketball players related to the school's Title IX investigation on Wednesday were followed by some subtle protests from fans attending the Billikens' game at Chaifetz Arena hours later.

One fan held a sign that said "FREE THE 3," repeating a slogan that was written on Twitter by players Adonys Henriquez, Ty Graves and Jermaine Bishop and retweeted. Others in the crowd were heard shouting the phrase, according to fans.

After the players made the posts and retweets early in the afternoon, they were removed shortly thereafter without explanation. They were the first comments by the players directly addressing the Title IX investigation, which was announced on Sept. 26.

Henriquez and Bishop had previously responded to Twitter followers asking if they would be playing in particular games.

The three have not appeared in a game this season. SLU officials would not comment.

All players returned from the holiday break to start spring classes after a decision was not rendered during the time between semesters. The Billikens played their 19th game Wednesday and have a minimum of 13 remaining.

As the spring semester started, the players had not received a decision from the SLU hearing officer. Depending on the ruling, the case could drag into February because each side would have three business days to file an appeal. The other side then gets three business days to respond to the appeal.

According to SLU's student handbook, "appeals will be resolved within 10 university business days following receipt of the request for appeal."

Grounds for an appeal include a deviation from outlined procedures that could impact the outcome or the discovery of "new or relevant" information that was not available during the investigation.

Dissatisfaction with the hearing officer's decision is not considered the basis for an appeal.

The players have been practicing and traveling on road trips. However, they have not been in the arena for any games. It remains unclear who made that decision and why it was made. SLU has not commented on the players' absence from games.

Timeline of SLU's Title IX investigation (updated)