Suspended Gophers football players will not face charges

Four University of Minnesota football players won’t face charges following a police investigation surrounding alleged connections to a sexual assault.

Kristina Busch

Four University of Minnesota football players will not face charges following a police investigation surrounding alleged connections to a sexual assault, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

A 22-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted early morning Sept. 2, hours after a Gophers home game. Ahead of the Sept. 10 game, four Gophers football players — KiAnte Hardin, Ray Buford, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson — were suspended from the team for team rule violation, head coach Tracy Claeys said at the time.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman Corey Schmidt confirmed earlier this month that the players were mentioned in a case but declined to specify which case.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in a statement Monday the four players will not face charges because there was not evidence to prove excessive force was used or that the victim was physically helpless.

“Fortunately, the families of these African-American student-athletes avoided a mother’s worst nightmare that their son would be wrongly accused of this type of misconduct,” the players’ attorney Lee Hutton said in a statement. “Now, my legal duty is to restore their tarnished reputations.”