Four suspended Gophers being investigated for connection to sexual assault

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Four members of the Minnesota football program “are being investigated for a possible connection in an alleged sexual assault in Minneapolis,” the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting.

Saturday, four Gopher football players — cornerbacks KiAnte Hardin and Ray Buford, safety Dior Johnson and defensive end Tamarion Johnson — were suspended for the game against FCS Indiana State for violating unspecified team rules.  While those players aren’t named specifically in the police report, the Pioneer Press, along with the Associated Press and the local CBS affiliate, are part of the police investigation into the alleged sexual assault.

The CBS station writes that “[a] spokesperson for Minneapolis police confirms the department is investigating four Gopher football players and working to determine if they are involved, in any way, in a criminal sexual conduct case.” “It was unclear if the players are considered potential witnesses or suspected of being involved,” the AP reported.

From the Pioneer Press:

According to information available in the public report, the victim was a 22-year-old woman who reported being sexually assaulted early on the morning of Sept. 2. “Victim sought medical attention prior to making report,” the report said.

The assault allegedly took place at an undisclosed location hours after Minnesota beat Oregon State, 30-23, in their season opener at TCF Bank Stadium.

The four players remain suspended, with head coach Tracy Claeys saying “[w]e’ll deal with it day by day.”