The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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December 20, 2012

Update: Hoffner remains on MSU payroll and is fighting suspension

MANKATO — Officials at Minnesota State University said in a press release Wednesday that MSU head football coach Todd Hoffner’s administrative leave ended on Monday and that he remains on the university payroll.

The release did not say that Hoffner has been reinstated as football coach.

The union that represents Hoffner confirmed that the university aimed to suspend him for 20 days without pay and that Hoffner is fighting the suspension.

Connie Howard, general counsel for the Inter Faculty Organization, says Todd Hoffner received written notice from Minnesota State University, Mankato, late Tuesday afternoon. She says in an email to The Associated Press that the notice calls for a 20-day unpaid suspension starting Jan. 7.

The Inter Faculty Organization is a union representing faculty in Minnesota's state universities.

Howard says they've filed a grievance challenging Hoffner's suspension. She says the university failed to follow progressive discipline and did not have just cause to suspend him.

Hoffner was escorted from the MSU football practice fields and put on paid administrative leave prior to the start of the 2012 season just before he was charged with two felony counts of child pornography for nude videos he made of his three young children using his university-issued cell phone.

A judge dismissed the charges in late November, siding with Hoffner who said the videos showed innocent family moments and not pornography.

Wednesday’s press release said that one complaint against Hoffner was investigated and the investigation was completed. One other complaint against Hoffner is pending and under investigation.

The university is citing the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act for not releasing any further information. According to the release, Aaron Keen, who guided the football team to the national semifinals this fall, continues to serve as acting head football coach.

Coach Keen said he was told in August that he was taking over as the interim head coach of the team and that he has not been told anything different since then. “Beyond that I really don’t know anything else,” Keen said.

Calls to Hoffner and MSU Athletic Director Kevin Buisman were not returned to The Free Press Wednesday night.

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