Mankato school officials ask state to review actions in Hoffner case

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 23, 2014 - 2:34 PM

Minnesota State head football coach Todd Hoffner

The president of Minnesota State University-Mankato has asked the state's Legislative Auditor to review the process school officials used to deal with Todd Hoffner, the head football coach who was fired and then reinstated following two tumultuous years.

In a letter to state legislators Wednesday, school president Richard Davenport said the university was “severely limited” by state law on what the school could say publicly in responding to the case involving Hoffner, who was initially suspended when nude photos of his children were found on a school-issued phone.

Davenport added that “our objective is not for a review of the correctness of the university’s decisions” but whether “the processes used were appropriate.”

Hoffner was criminally charged over the photos, but by the time the charges were dismissed his case had created national headlines. Although he was later fired by the school, an arbitrator earlier this month ordered the coach reinstated.

Last week – in yet another chapter that produced more headlines – Minnesota State’s football team announced it would not play for Hoffner but changed its position a day later.

In separate remarks Steven Rosenstone, the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, said Wednesday that he supported the school’s decisions regarding Hoffner and that “Davenport and his team have never deviated from doing what they thought the facts dictated would be best for the university, its students and others it serves.

“There has been absolutely no intentional wrongdoing by decision-makers,” Rosenstone added.

Rosenstone added that under state law, particularly the state Data Practices Act, regulating the flow of information to the public was “challenging and frustrating” and limited the schools’ ability “to comment on or explain the university’s actions to the public.”

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