Restraining orders keeps six football players football players out of game

The six football players did not compete in Saturday’s homecoming game against Rutgers.

Mike Hendrickson

Restraining orders filed against six Minnesota football players last week prevented them from playing at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday, according to Hennepin County Court records and media reports.

Five of the players — KiAnte Hardin, Ray Buford, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson and Carlton Djam — were not allowed at Saturday’s football game against Rutgers, said Lee Hutton, the players’ attorney. The restraining orders were filed in Hennepin County Court.

A sixth player — Kiondre Thomas — was served a restraining order Saturday morning and also was not allowed at TCF Bank Stadium, the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune reported.

Hutton said Friday the five players would appear in court Tuesday morning. Thomas will be joining them in court, according to the Pioneer Press.

The alleged victim who filed the restraining orders, a woman who participates in game day operations at TCF Bank Stadium, is the same victim from a Sept. 2 incident involving four of the players that led to three-game suspensions. Djam and Thomas are the only players served that weren’t suspended by head coach Tracy Claeys.

Police investigated the incident, which didn’t lead to any arrests or charges against the four players originally suspended. Claeys reinstated the four players the day after the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office declined to press charges.

“This is a malicious misuse of taxpayer funds,” Hutton said Friday. “My clients have already been investigated and cleared.”

Claeys said Sunday the players would be active for the game at Illinois on Oct. 29.

Claeys has otherwise declined to comment on the situation.

One statement posted on Twitter Friday, Ray Buford’s father, of the same name, said the alleged victim has changed her story multiple times.

“This person is being allowed to continue to change her story and flat out lie to continue to harass, and defame my son and his teammates,” Buford’s father wrote. “We now look forward to Tuesday’s hearing to expose every detail … so all can see this person for who she really is.”

Hardin has started all three games he has been available for this year. Buford has played in two games.

Tamarion Johnson, Dior Johnson and Thomas haven’t played yet this season. Djam saw his only playing time with the Gophers on Sept. 10, where he had seven carries for 33 yards.