Ten Gophers football players from the University of Minnesota have been indefinitely suspended from all team activities. It may also mean that Minnesota will have lesser team members for the Holiday Bowl.
The names of the players suspended were released by the University of Minnesota and include Antoine Winfield Jr, Mark Williams, Antonio Shenault, Kobe McCrary, Tamarion Johnson, Dior Johnson, KiAnte Hardin, Seth Green, Carlton Djam, and Ray Buford.
In a statement, Minnesota stated that because of some privacy restrictions relating to student data, they declined to comment on the specifics. However, a lawyer representing some of the players said that the latest suspensions are related to the first suspensions of the 4 players and come after a university investigation regarding sexual assault accusations.
Hardin, Johnson, Buford, and Johnson were suspended for the first 3 games of the season following the sexual assault accusation last September 2 after the season-opener of the Gophers. The woman accused the players and she works at the TCF Bank Stadium on game days. She has a restraining order against the same players and Djam in the month of October before dropping the restraining order last month.
The victim said she was sexually assaulted by many men. A lawyer from the university said that the hearing last November about the restraining order is still ongoing. The woman said that she was frozen in fear after that sexual assaults happened. She also admitted that the sex she had with Djam was actually consensual, yet she did not believe the claim as she stated it.
According to the reports, it was noted that the questions in the court in Hutton included a discussion of whether one of the encounters was caught on video and shared via an app or some means. To drop the said restraining order, one of the involved aspects of the settlement is that the players were required not to have contact with the woman who accused them. Hutton also said in a publication that he was ticked at the university and would accelerate his timeline to file some lawsuits on behalf of the accused players versus the accuser.
Winfield is basically a starting safety on the defense of Minnesota. Shenault, Hardin, and Buford are the cornerbacks in the rotation of the Gophers. Washington State has the most prolific and often tapped passing offenses in the US. Hardin is the kick returner and starting punt of the team on the most recent 2-deep depth chart of Minnesota. McCrary is the number three running back and some of the suspended Gopher players do not factor anywhere on the depth chart of Minnesota.
It’s not clear what new details became available between September and today. However, the university disciplinary processes are run in a different and separate manner than law enforcements and they can reach the entire various results after examining the same cases.
Gophers are set to fight against Washington State in Holiday Bowl on the 27th of December.