Nationals

Minn. coach cleared of child porn reassigned

Minn. coach cleared of child porn reassigned

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) A football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, who was cleared of child pornography charges that stemmed from videos found on his cellphone of his naked children clowning around after a bath, has been reassigned, the university said Friday.

Todd Hoffner, who was the Mavericks head football coach, has been given the position of assistant athletic director for facilities development, the university said in a news release issued late Friday. However, Hoffner's civil attorney, Chris Madel, told the Star Tribune that his client has no intentions of abiding by the university's decision.

``We intend to fight the university until Mr. Hoffner is restored as head coach of the successful football team he created,'' Madel told the newspaper.

Phone messages left after hours for Madel and the attorney for Hoffner's union were not immediately returned to The Associated Press on Friday night.

The university release said the reassignment would take effect immediately. Hoffner would be responsible for helping develop the school's master plan for athletics and recreation facilities.

University spokesman Dan Benson said in an email to the AP that the school could not comment on whether Hoffner's reassignment was a mutual decision.

Aaron Keen will remain acting head football coach for the Mavericks, the school said. Keen acted as head coach all season.

``Minnesota State Mankato will be making additional decisions regarding the head football coach position in the coming weeks,'' the news release said.

The Free Press of Mankato reported that Hoffner asked for an injunction earlier this month to keep the police investigative reports in his case sealed. A Twin Cities television station had asked to see them. Hoffer is seeking a temporary restraining order that would keep anyone from disseminating the investigative file.

District Court Judge Krista Jass ruled last week that the reports will remain private until they can be reviewed, according to the newspaper.

Jass ordered prosecutors to gather all investigative reports and turn them over to Hoffner's attorney in the criminal case, Jim Fleming. He'll be allowed to file a sealed list of information that he believes should be kept from the public. After receiving Fleming's list, Jass will decide what should remain sealed.

Fleming said in a court affidavit that releasing the information would harm Hoffner.

``Plaintiff Mr. Hoffner has an ongoing investigation relative to his employment as a head football coach at (MSU),'' Fleming's affidavit said. ``Release of private non-public data could irreparably harm (Hoffner) with respect to that investigation that a civil lawsuit for damages would not fully compensate.''

Hoffner was charged with possession of child porn in August after school officials found videos of his naked children on his work-issued cellphone, which he had turned in to be repaired. Jass dismissed the criminal charges last month after concluding that the short videos of his children acting silly after a bath were not child porn and showed nothing illegal.

Last week, the university said Hoffner was no longer on administrative leave but hadn't reinstated him as coach. The university didn't give reasons for the decision, citing data privacy laws. But the school did say in the statement it was still investigating a complaint against Hoffner. University officials didn't elaborate.

Connie Howard, an attorney for the union representing Hoffner, told the AP by email last week that Hoffner was being suspended without pay for 20 days starting Jan. 7. She didn't give the reason for the suspension, but said the union was challenging it.

It's not clear where the suspension stands now that the university has reassigned Hoffner.

Fleming told the newspaper that he wants the investigative information sealed to protect Hoffner's privacy. Investigators went through computer files and took pictures of items in his house.

``We're not hiding anything from anybody,'' Fleming said.

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Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

WASHINGTON -- With a broken nose, pronounced black eye and seven shutout innings, Max Scherzer provided a striking capper to the Washington Nationals' day-night doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Scherzer himself? He shrugged off his work in the Nationals' 2-0 victory Wednesday night as business as usual.

"Trust me, this thing looks a lot worse than it actually is," Scherzer said. "I felt zero pain. There's been plenty of other injuries where I felt a lot of pain and I've had to pitch through. I'll hang my hat on those starts, but tonight I felt zero pain. This is part of what you have to do. You take the ball every fifth time.

"That's my responsibility to the team, to make sure I always post, and I knew I could post tonight."

Brian Dozier and Victor Robles hit solo homers to support Scherzer (6-5) as Washington won for the 16th time in 23 games. Philadelphia has dropped seven of its last nine and 12 of 18.

In the first game, Patrick Corbin struck out eight while allowing one run over seven innings as the Nationals earned a 6-2 victory in the delayed series opener after the teams were rained out Monday and Tuesday.

Scherzer bunted a ball off his face during batting practice Tuesday, but it didn't stop him from making his scheduled start. His injury may have provided an extra layer of intimidation in the form of a black eye more worthy of a boxing ring than a baseball diamond.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner sported a pronounced bruise arcing beneath his right eye, adding another hue to a glare that already featured one blue eye and one brown eye.

"Going out there and throwing, the only thing I had to deal with was the swelling underneath the eye," Scherzer said. "It was kind of jiggling around, and so in warmups I just had to get used to knowing what it was feeling like to throw the ball and just have that swelling."

While he wasn't at his most efficient on a humid night, piling up 117 pitches, Scherzer was rarely threatened. He struck out 10, yielded only four hits and permitted just two runners to reach scoring position. And he finished strong, striking out three in a row after Cesar Hernandez led off the seventh with a double.

"It really is one of the most impressive things I've seen in a while," Dozier said. "He's probably the best pitcher in our generation, and you don't get that status unless you take the ball every fifth day, no matter if you're doing good, doing bad, you got a broken nose. You always want the ball."

Bryce Harper, Scherzer's former Nationals teammate, was 0 for 4 with four walks in the doubleheader and was loudly booed before each plate appearance -- especially in the better-attended nightcap. This series is his second trip back to Washington, where he played from 2012-18, since signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia in March.

Dozier belted a two-out solo shot in the second off Jake Arrieta (6-6), who allowed two hits and struck out three over six innings and had the misfortune of matching up with Scherzer on the wrong day.

"Max is just one of the best to ever toe the rubber, honestly," Arietta said. "We have ran into him a couple of times. That's just what he does. He is tough to square up, and he is throwing three or four pitches for strikes with electric stuff. Just a tough one."

Robles homered off reliever Pat Neshek in the eighth. Neshek departed two batters later with a left hamstring strain, and manager Gabe Kapler said he was likely to land on the injured list less than a week after returning from an absence of more than three weeks caused by a shoulder strain.

Wander Suero pitched a perfect eighth for Washington, and Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 tries.

Philadelphia was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position between the two games.

Corbin (6-5), whose start was pushed back twice this week, allowed a solo homer to Scott Kingery in the first inning of the opener. But he let just one other runner to reach third while ending a personal three-game skid.

"It's not ideal, but you have to deal with it to make sure you are ready," said Corbin, who is one strikeout shy of 1,000 for his career. "I was glad we got that one in today."

Dozier and Gerardo Parra had RBI doubles against Phillies starter Zach Eflin (6-7). They later hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning off Cole Irvin to seal the victory.

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This Nationals fan's Max Scherzer broken nose shirt is the best thing you'll see today

This Nationals fan's Max Scherzer broken nose shirt is the best thing you'll see today

Nationals ace Max Scherzer added another incredible chapter to his legendary career Wednesday, pitching seven shutout innings against the Phillies after breaking his nose in a batting practice accident the day before. 

To honor Scherzer's toughness, one amazing Nats fan wore arguably the greatest shirt ever seen at a baseball game.

(Photo: NBC Sports Washington)

This isn't a good shirt. This is a GREAT shirt, worthy of the man who's face it features. 

Someone get this fan a signed Scherzer baseball. 

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