The Hennepin County (Minn.) District Attorney’s Office announced today, for a second time, that it had reviewed the evidence against the group of Golden Gophers football players accused of raping a fellow student and decided there was not enough to bring a criminal case. But before going into what prosecutors said, its worth pointing out the timing of this announcement—late on a Friday, also on the last weekday before the extended New Year’s weekend, and after the Gophers played in and won the Holiday Bowl. Like the Oklahoma Sooners, the local prosecutor’s office managed to release this information at the time when as few people as possible will see it.
Currently, ten Gophers players are suspended—with five of them recommended for expulsion, their attorney has said. None of them played in the Holiday Bowl. Their teammates briefly threatened to boycott the bowl game, but changed their minds after a damning university report was published by KSTP-TV that went into much more graphic details than police or prosecutors about what happened that night in September.
That’s what led to the second review by Hennepin county prosecutors, and based on their statement it was reading the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action report. That report cited evidence that went unexamined in police reports and as well as several interviews with people who aren’t mentioned at all by Minneapolis police. That matters because those extra interviews, as the university report put it, helped their investigators decide that the student’s story was more credible than the football players. The prosecutor’s office calls them “a handful of new interviews.”