Gophers football restraining order decision expected before Purdue game

- A hearing on the restraining orders against five University of Minnesota football players has been rescheduled for Nov. 3 because the mandatory five-day waiting period has not been met. Tuesday morning, the judge made it clear he wants to make a decision before the next Gophers home game, Nov. 5 against Purdue, since the orders block the players from entering TCF Bank Stadium on game days.

Ray Buford, KiAnte Hardin and Dior Johnson were served with temporary restraining orders last Friday, Oct. 21 attorney Lee Hutton confirmed. Gophers teammates Carlton Djam and Tamarion Johnson were also served restraining orders last week. The orders were amended to allow the student-athletes to remain in their campus area apartments and attend classes, but access to TCF Bank Stadium remains blocked.

A restraining order served against a sixth Gophers football player has been rescinded at the request of the victim.

Buford, Hardin Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson were each suspended earlier this season while Minneapolis police investigated an alleged Sept. 2 incident. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against the players, citing "insufficient, admissible evidence," and they were subsequently reinstated to the team.

The restraining order includes TCF Bank Stadium because the alleged victim is part of the Gophers home football game operations. Hutton said Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle was in court under subpoena Tuesday morning, prepared to testify about stadium safety on game day.  

"It would not be appropriate for the University to comment on this matter to the extent it relates to University students," the U of M said in a statement to Fox 9. "The University reaffirms, however, that it will honor and comply with court orders."

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