The Hennepin County attorney’s office announced Monday it has declined to bring charges against four Gophers football players who have been suspended for three weeks.
The Minneapolis Police Department had been investigating a case involving KiAnte Hardin, Ray Buford, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson, and coach Tracy Claeys suspended the players before the Sept. 10 home game against Indiana State for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Lee Hutton, an attorney representing the players, said the players have been told by Claeys that they’ve been reinstated and will be able to practice with the team on Tuesday. A team spokesman said Claeys will be available to address the suspensions at his regularly scheduled Tuesday news conference.
Hennepin County released details about the investigation in its statement, but the Star Tribune does not typically publish details of investigations that do not involve an arrest or charges.
Hennepin County’s statement concludes: “This office will have no further comment on the case.”
Hutton issued a statement that said, in part: “I am very pleased to be informed after a thorough and lengthy investigation by the Minneapolis Police that my clients KiAnte Hardin, Ray Buford, Dior Johnson, and Tamarion Johnson have been cleared of the allegations featured in the press.”
Hardin, a sophomore from Webb City, Mo., started at cornerback and played most of the season opener against Oregon State, recording six tackles and two pass breakups.
Buford, a redshirt freshman from Detroit, battled Hardin for the starting cornerback job but did not play in the opener.
Dior Johnson, a redshirt freshman from the same high school as Buford (Detroit Southfield), was rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com but has yet to play for Minnesota.
Tamarion Johnson is a true freshman who is expected to redshirt this year.
Staff writer Marcus Fuller contributed to this report.