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Continued: MSU-Mankato players refuse to practice, want interim coach back

“The big thing [is] that Hoffner was treated terribly” in the aftermath of the allegations against him, said Lloyd. “It really surprises me that these young people would do that.”

Mike Reynolds, an MSU athletic booster, also said he was shocked to hear the players are refusing to play for Hoffner. “I’m speechless,” he said, pointing out that he canceled his season tickets after Hoffner was fired. “I stayed away from the games in support of Todd.”

Hopes for a solution

Hoffner, Keen and Buisman didn’t return calls Wednesday.

Hoffner’s wife, Melodee, said it was unlikely her husband would comment before Thursday’s meeting.

“You have to remember that these are young kids and they’re confused. They’re angry, and they don’t understand how my husband has been treated by the university,” she said. “They were told that Aaron Keen would be their head coach for so long, and now that’s not the case.”

The new recruits on the team “have never even met my husband,” she said. “They don’t know him. My husband is consistent and fair and he does hold his players to a very high standard and it doesn’t matter if you’re the best player on the team or you don’t have as much talent. His expectations are high for all the players. He can be tough but his intention is always to make the players better people and better players.”

She said she hopes the players and the coaching staff can work things out. “It always gets worse before it gets better,” she said. “It will be helpful to have them all sit down together and discuss things. … It’s going to get better. It’s going to be OK.”

 

Reece Hemmesch, editor in chief of the MSU Reporter, contributed to this report. mlsmith@startribune • 612-673-4788 mkaszuba@startribune.com 612-673-4388

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