Gopher FB Notes…suit dismissed, Friday Night Football, and new opponent 03 Nov 16

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Restraining orders against five Minnesota football players have been dismissed after they reached an agreement with an alleged sexual assault victim.

The dismissal came Wednesday during a court hearing.

All five players agreed to stay 20 feet away from the woman, and they must have no contact with her until she graduates.

The woman works at TCF Bank Stadium on game days, and the restraining orders kept Ray Buford, KiAnte Hardin, Tamarion Johnson, Dior Johnson and Carlton Djam from playing in home games. The dismissal clears the way for them to play at the stadium, if the university approves.

None of the players were arrested or charged in connection with the alleged Sept. 2 incident.

The Gophers play at home Saturday against Purdue.

 

The Big Ten will play six Friday night football games a year starting in 2017 and continuing through at least 2022.

Senior Associate Commissioner Mark Rudner says the games are being added as part of the conference’s new television agreements with ESPN/ABC and Fox. The six games will be spread over September and October and allow more Big Ten schools to get national exposure.

The Big Ten already has had Friday night games on Labor Day weekend. Those games will continue and be counted among the six each year.

Rudner said the conference expects to announce the 2017 Friday night schedule within the next week.

Michigan and Penn State already have declined to host Friday night games on their campuses.

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has scheduled two games against Mississippi State in what will be the first regular-season matchups for the Gophers against an SEC foe in more than 65 years.

The Gophers announced Wednesday they’ll host the Bulldogs on Sept. 12, 2026, and travel to Starkville, Mississippi, for a rematch on Sept. 11, 2027. The two teams have never played before.

The last time Minnesota played an SEC team in the regular season was Oct. 31, 1959, a victory over Vanderbilt. The Gophers lost to Missouri in the Citrus Bowl after the 2014 season and beat Alabama and Arkansas in the 2004 and 2002 Music City Bowls.

Other power-conference opponents on future schedules are Oregon State (2017) and Colorado (2021, 2022). The Gophers have also scheduled BYU for 2020 and 2025.