After another round of appeals in the alleged sexual assault case from last September involving several Gophers football players, Antoine Winfield Jr., Kobe McCrary and Mark Williams have been cleared, while cornerback KiAnte Hardin still is facing expulsion, their attorneys confirmed Monday.
The latest round of appeals went to university provost Karen Hanson and involved four of the 10 players originally suspended over an alleged sexual assault from Sept. 2.
In December, the university’s office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) recommended expulsion for Hardin, Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson, one-year suspensions for Winfield, Seth Green, Kobe McCrary and Mark Williams and probation for Antonio Shenault.
The players appealed those suspensions. In February, a three-person panel upheld the recommended expulsions for Hardin, Buford, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson. The panel reduced Djam’s penalty to a one-year suspension. The panel also cleared Green, Winfield, McCrary and Shenault, while upholding Williams’ one-year suspension.
But the victim appealed the rulings on Winfield and McCrary, while Hardin and Williams made their own appeals.
On Monday, Hanson upheld the decision to remove Winfield’s one-year suspension, his attorney Ryan Pacayga confirmed.
“These couple of months have been nothing short of a nightmare for me, and I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me and shown nothing but love,” Winfield said on Twitter.
Hanson also upheld the decision to remove McCrary’s one-year suspension, his attorney Lee Hutton said. The provost reversed the decision on Mark Williams, lifting his one-year suspension, while upholding the decision to expel Hardin, Hutton said.
The three other players who faced expulsion — Buford, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson — transferred to Arizona Western Community College. Djam still faces a one-year suspension from school.
On Monday, the Gophers announced the list of originally suspended players who have been reinstated to the team: Green, McCrary, Shenault, Williams and Winfield.
“Due to privacy restrictions relating to student educational data, there is nothing further the University can share,” the athletics department announced.