The drama isn't over at Minnesota State Mankato.
A day after Todd Hoffner announced he was taking his old job back as coach of Minnesota State's football team, "several dozen" players walked out of practice demanding answers and supporting Aaron Keen, who was serving as the interim coach.
Keen was Hoffner's offensive coordinator until Hoffner was suspended in August 2012. The players, clad in sweatshirts instead of football equipment, went across the street shortly after Hoffner's return to the job on Wednesday.
Junior defensive back Samuel Thompson read a prepared statement saying the Mavericks players wanted interim coach Aaron Keen to continue in the head coaching role.
"Throughout this process, our voice has been silenced. It's time our voice was heard. We want information, we want answers, because this is our team. As a unit we have decided not to practice because of the changeup in the coaching situation."
According to the Mankato Free Press, only three players were in uniform for the practice.
Hoffner was suspended after videos of his children dancing naked after a bath were found on his school-issued phone. He was charged with possession of child pornography, but the charges were dropped three months later. However, Hoffner's suspension remained and he was reassigned before being terminated in May.
An arbitrator ruled last week that Hoffner, who was hired as Minot State's coach in January, was wrongfully terminated. In documents obtained by the Free Press, the school's reason for terminating him stemmed from pornography viewed on his school-owned laptop and that others used his computer. The arbitrator ruled it was impossible to prove who viewed the explicit material and allowing others to use his laptop wasn't a fireable offense.
Keen, who was 24-2 in his two seasons as acting head coach, is now the associate head coach. He said Wednesday that he was happy to be at Minnesota State. Hoffner declined comment after practice and a meeting is scheduled for Thursday morning between athletic director Kevin Buisman, Hoffner, Keen, players and other members of the coaching staff.
- - - - - - -
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation