Minnesota football reportedly suspended 10 of its players indefinitely.
According to a report by the Star Tribune, 10 Minnesota football players were suspended indefinitely on Tuesday.
The ten suspended players are: Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, Seth Green, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson, Kobe McCrary, Antonio Shenault, Mark Williams and Antoine Winfield Jr. Winfield and Hardin ranked third and fifth in tackles, while McCrary ranked fourth in rushing.
Minnesota declined to explain the reasons for the suspensions, citing "privacy restrictions relating to student educational data."
Four of the players - Buford, Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson - served suspensions earlier this season for an unspecified violation of team rules. They were forced to sit out three games while police investigated an allegation from Sept. 2, but were reinstated after Hennepin County declined to press charges.
After a surprising 8-4 finish to the season had the Gophers looking up, this will certainly leave a bad taste in the mouth of many.
Minnesota takes on Washington State on Dec. 27 in the National Funding Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Update: TwinCities.com reports that the suspension stems from a September sexual assault allegation:
Ray Buford Sr., a 17-year law enforcement official in Michigan, told the Pioneer Press that the suspensions are tied to an early-morning incident on Sept. 2 where four players — Buford, Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson — were “mentioned” in a Minneapolis Police report that included a woman’s allegations of sexual assault. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office declined Oct. 3 to press charges, citing insufficient evidence.
Buford said the new suspension are the result an investigation by the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) and were relayed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Buford said “some” of the players were recommended for expulsion from the university, and he added that will be met with appeals.
We will continue to update this story as we learn more.