Four University of Minnesota football players are reportedly being investigated for a possible connection to a criminal sexual assault. Andy Greder of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported the news on Tuesday.
The assault reportedly took place in Minneapolis on September 2, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. It is still unclear if the four football players are being investigated merely as witnesses or as possible suspects.
According to the Pioneer Press, the victim is a 22-year-old woman that reported being sexually assaulted at an undisclosed location just hours after the Gophers’ season-opening victory over Oregon State.
Prior to Minnesota’s game against Indiana State on September 10, head coach Tracy Claeys suspended safety Dior Johnson, defensive end Tamarion Johnson and cornerbacks KiAnte Hardin and Ray Buford. While Claeys said the players had been suspended for violating unspecified team rules, police spokesman Corey Schmidt confirmed that those are the four players under investigation. The police are “working to determine how they are involved in the case at this time.”
As of now, no charges have been filed.
While not of importance to the story, but to hopefully help add some context; Hardin, a sophomore, is the most experienced of the four players. He started in the season opener for the Gophers, and also appeared in 13 games last season. Buford is a redshirt freshman that was likely going to see his first action against Indiana State before being suspended. Tamarion and Dior Johnson are each freshmen from Detroit that were not expected to see game action.
These are very serious allegations, and the story is obviously incredibly fluid. Today’s U will continue to monitor the situation.
The Gophers (2-0) will face the Colorado State Rams on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.