In two weeks, Minnesota will head to San Diego to take on Washington State in the Holiday Bowl, but they’ll go without 10 of their players, including several starters in their secondary. The Star Tribune reported on the suspensions this evening, which apparently stem from an incident in September. Four players were suspended for three games due to a restraining order by a victim of an alleged sexual assault. They only missed home games, and were reinstated once the restraining order expired.
However, the University of Minnesota’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office conducted their own investigation and has now decided to indefinitely suspend Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, Seth Green, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson, Kobe McCrary, Antonio Shenault, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Mark Williams. According to the Star Tribune, Williams, Shenault, Winfield Jr., McCrary, and Green were not involved in the alleged assault, but were in the same apartment at the time.
The players’ attorney confirmed that the suspensions stemmed from that incident, and he said that he planned to file a counter-suit.
“I’m ticked and I plan on exposing the office of EOAA for these unfounded conclusions,” [attorney Lee] Hutton said. “I was going to wait until after the new year to bring lawsuits on behalf of my clients against [the alleged victim]; we just decided to accelerate the process.”
Hutton also said that some of the players face possible expulsion or full-year suspensions. They plan to appeal the decision, but the Holiday Bowl is two weeks from today, on Dec. 27.
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