Redskins

Minn. coach reassigned after cleared of child porn

Minn. coach reassigned after cleared of child porn

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) A Minnesota state university has reassigned its football coach to an administrative role, a month after he was cleared of child pornography charges that stemmed from cellphone videos of his naked children clowning around after a bath.

An attorney for Todd Hoffner immediately said his client would fight the move and seek reinstatement as head coach at Minnesota State, Mankato.

Hoffner has been given the position of assistant athletic director for facilities development, effective immediately, the university said in a news release issued late Friday. Hoffner would be responsible for helping develop the school's master plan for athletics and recreation facilities, the university said.

The school has no comment on whether Hoffner's reassignment was a mutual decision, university spokesman Dan Benson said in an email to the AP.

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.

The Associated Press left phone messages seeking comment by Madel and the attorney for Hoffner's union Friday night.

The school said Aaron Keen will remain acting head football coach for the Mavericks. 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 after a Twin Cities television station 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, Jim Fleming, who has said releasing the documents would ``irreparably harm'' his client. 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.

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 that it 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.

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

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Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

The Wizards sought to add an assistant coach with a strong defensive track record this offseason and they did just that Saturday evening by hiring Michael Longabardi, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. 

Longardi, 46, has spent the last three seasons as a defensive coach on the Cleveland Cavaliers' staff. He was initially hired by former Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue in 2016 when the team claimed their first championship in franchise history. 

Before joining the Cavaliers, Longabardi held assistant coaching roles with the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, and most notably the Boston Celtics, in which he and Lue served under head coach Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau from 2007 to 2013.

Longabardi was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Xaverian High School, a private Catholic school. He then went on to play basketball at Newberry College where he earned the nickname "Mr. Defense."

Just a day after reports broke that Tommy Sheppard would be promoted to a permanent general manager position, the organization is making yet another move in hopes of improving overall culture and team defense.

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