« Pinto's Points

Can You Blame Him? I Might

by Dan Gunderson

The Minnesota State University, Mankato football story is one that has me wondering all kinds of things. Most of all, it has me wondering who to blame for this whole fiasco.

As most of you know, MSU-Mankato head coach Todd Hoffner was fired from the same position back in 2012 when a university IT employee found, what he believed to be, child pornography on Hoffner's university issued phone.

Hoffner was arrested for having child pornography on his phone but was cleared by a judge. Still, the university suspended and then fired Hoffner. Hoffner moved on, taking the head football coaching job at Minot State University.

This year, an arbitrator ruled that if Hoffner wants his job back at MSU-Mankato, the university has to allow him to take it. They would also have to play him all the money owed to him over the time he was not at MSU-Mankato.

A lot of people are left twisting in the wind in this situation, namely Minot State and interim head coach for the Mavericks, Aaron Keen. Keen's position now becomes in question with Hoffner back and Minot State is left scrambling in April, looking for a coach for the 2014 season.

Meanwhile, the players for both schools are left to wonder if their best interest were ever taken into account in all of this.

Obviously, the majority of the blame lies with the administration for acting too quickly back in 2012. Their actions were most likely done in a reaction to what happened with Jerry Sandusky at Penn State.

They did not want to have something of that nature on their hands, so they acted as quickly as possible, in order to avoid any fiasco. However, in their haste, they never took the time to ask important questions.

Who are these kids? Has he ever done anything like this before? Maybe we should ask Hoffner why these videos are on there? Maybe we should just take a deep breath and think.

They didn't and they put Hoffner and the Maverick football team in this position.

However, it is hard for me to look at this situation, and not feel as if Hoffner is being selfish in his actions.

Coming back to a school that had decided to quickly get rid of you despite knowing all the facts makes it seem that you are spiteful and somewhat greedy. Leaving a school that had taken a leap of faith in hiring you makes you look as if you never really cared about Minot State in the first place.

Should we have really been shocked that Maverick players boycotted this coach? Not really. They probably felt as I do. That Hoffner was doing all of this for his own personal agenda.

Granted, Mankato is his home. His family has roots there. You also have the fact that the program thrived under Hoffner before his firing.

Someone took away his second family and now they are willing to give it back, not only free of charge, but pay you to take it back. Tough to say no to that.

The best course of action to all of this would be if the administration in charge of having Hoffner fired would just leave and if Hoffner would have stayed in Minot.

Neither of those things were going to happen. It appears that everyone is just going to try and make things go back to normal. But they won't.

Not until somebody stands up and takes responsibility for their choices.

I have a feeling that is not going to happen.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called The Pinto and White Shadow Show. Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.