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Minnesota Football: Restraining orders against Gopher football players lifted

Sophomore cornerback KiAnte Hardin and four other Gophers will now be eligible to play at home against Purdue on Saturday

NCAA Football: Iowa at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The restraining orders filed against five Minnesota Golden Gopher football players — sophomore cornerback KiAnte Hardin, redshirt freshman cornerback Ray Buford, redshirt freshman safety Dior Johnson, freshman defensive end Tamarion Johnson, and redshirt sophomore running back Carlton Djam — have been lifted after a settlement was reached earlier this afternoon between the players and the complainant. If upheld, the restraining orders would have prevented the players from participating in home football games at TCF Bank Stadium for the next two years.

A hearing was held earlier this morning, where the complainant was put on the stand and cross-examined by the players’ defense attorney. The hearing continued into the afternoon, when attorneys for both parties discussed and agreed upon a settlement that resulted in all of the restraining orders being dismissed.

As part of the settlement, all of the players agreed to have absolutely no contact with the complainant while she is a student at the university. The university will help assure the two parties are kept apart at football games, as police and security members at TCF Bank Stadium will be notified of the court order. The players have also agreed not to pursue civil proceedings against the complainant.

Hardin is the lone starter among the players affected by the restraining orders. The sophomore cornerback has played in four games this season, totaling 18 tackles, two interceptions, three pass break-ups, and five passes defensed. Buford, also a cornerback, has played in three games and totaled six tackles, one pass break-up, and one pass defensed. Djam saw action in the second half against Indiana State and recorded seven carries for 33 yards. Dior Johnson appeared against Iowa but did not record a statistic. Tamarian Johnson is redshirting this season.

With Hardin and Buford on the field, the Gopher defense is allowing 16 points per game, 172.5 passing yards per game, and 121.8 rushing yards per game. In the games Hardin and Buford were either suspended or unable to participate, the Gopher defense allowed 28.3 points per game, 253.8 passing yards per game, and 138.3 rushing yards per game. So in terms of football, this is very good news for the Gophers.