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Minnesota Football: Suspended Gophers receive appeal hearing decisions

The appeal hearings for the 10 suspended Minnesota football players have led to a handful of the recommended penalties being overturned

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson is reporting that the 10 suspended Minnesota football players have been informed of the outcomes from last week’s appeal hearings.

Freshman safety Antoine Winfield, Jr., freshman quarterback Seth Green, sophomore cornerback Antonio Shenault, and junior running back Kobe McCrary all saw their penalties overturned. Winfield, Green, and McCrary were recommended for one-year suspensions, whereas Shenault was recommended for one year of probation.

Freshman quarterback Mark Williams saw his one-year suspension upheld, and redshirt sophomore running Carlton Djam had his recommended expulsion reduced to a one-year suspension. The recommended expulsions for sophomore cornerback KiAnte Hardin, redshirt freshman cornerback Ray Buford, redshirt freshman safety Dior Johnson, and freshman defensive end Tamarion Johnson have all been upheld.

Back in December, 10 football players were suspended indefinitely prior to the Holiday Bowl after an internal EOAA investigation — stemming from an alleged sexual assault incident from early September — recommended varying penalties for each of them, ranging from probation to expulsion. The suspensions resulted in a brief player boycott and drew national media attention, before head football coach Tracy Claeys was fired by athletic director Mark Coyle on Jan. 3.

Last week, the players’ closed door appeal hearings were held on Thursday and Friday.

For the four players whose expulsions were upheld, this matter may not be over. I have no doubt that their attorney will seek outside legal recourse, but that is a topic for another time and for someone more familiar with the practice of law.