6 Minnesota Golden Gophers Banned from TCF Bank Stadium Due to Restraining Order

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 22, 2016

The Minneapolis skyline is visible in the left background Tuesday, June 16, 2009 as the Minnesota Associated Press media toured the new on-campus TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis where the Golden Gophers will play the first football game there Sept. 12 against Air Force.  (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be without six players during Saturday's game against Rutgers due to restraining orders that have been issued.

Per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (via ESPN.com), defensive backs KiAnte Hardin, Ray Buford, Dior Johnson, Kiondre Thomas, running back Carlton Djam and defensive lineman Tamarion Johnson will not play after a woman involved in Golden Gophers game-day operations filed for restraining orders against them following sexual assault allegations in September.

University of Minnesota spokesman Evan Lapinska issued a statement for the school: "It would not be appropriate for the University to comment on this matter to the extent it relates to University students. The University reaffirms, however, that it will honor and comply with court orders."

Last month, per Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press, Minnesota police officers were investigating four unnamed Gophers football players after a criminal sexual conduct case was reported Sept. 3.

Per Greder's report, the assault was alleged to have occurred at an undisclosed location some time after Minnesota defeated Oregon State on Sept. 1.

Per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Minnesota's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action director Kim Hewitt sent an email to school athletic officials about a "concerning pattern" of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations involving football players in the last year.

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Minnesota head football coach Tracy Claeys suspended Hardin, Buford, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson following the team's second game of the season against Indiana State on Sept. 10. Their suspensions were lifted Oct. 4 after a police investigation determined they would not be charged in the case.

Earlier this week, Lee Hutton, an attorney who represents Tamarion Johnson and Djam, told A.J. Perez of USA Today he wanted the judge who issued the restraining order to amend it.

"We are asking the judge to change the stipulation that includes the stadium," Hutton said. "This arose out of accusations that were later found to be not true and they weren't charged. This is a gross misuse of judicial recourses."

Per ESPN.com, a hearing on the restraining orders is scheduled for Oct. 25.