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College football notebook: Minn. coach cleared on porn charges

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wire Reports
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, 8:50 p.m.
 

MANKATO, Minn. — A Minnesota football coach sidelined by accusations of child pornography involving his own children reacted with relief Friday after a judge dismissed the case, saying he was “thankful to be waking up from this nightmare.”

Todd Hoffner, the head coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, was effectively cleared when a judge agreed with his assertion that innocent family videos had been misinterpreted. He had been escorted off a football practice field and arrested in August after a university employee came across cellphone videos of his children dancing and playing naked.

“My wife and I have anticipated this day for a very long time,” Hoffner, 46, of Eagle Lake, said in a news conference at his attorneys' offices. “It has finally taken a person with courage and authority to realize what these videos were.”

In her ruling released Friday, Blue Earth County District Judge Krista Jass said she didn't find any evidence that the videos amounted to pornography.

Many seats still available for Big Ten title game

Wisconsin and No. 14 Nebraska likely will play Saturday night's Big Ten title game in front of at least a few empty seats.

A little more than 24 hours before kickoff, thousands of tickets remained unsold and local organizers and Big Ten officials were already saying they didn't anticipate selling all of them.

Mitchell's report: ‘Good start' for Penn State

Penn State is “off to a very good start” in making major institutional changes after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, but “much remains to be done,” according to former U.S. senator George Mitchell, who is serving as the school's athletics integrity monitor.

The 57-page document notes that Penn State had already established an administration response team.

Odds and ends

Missouri Western State running back Michael Hill, Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh and Shippensburg quarterback Zach Zulli are the finalists for Harlon Hill Trophy as the top player in Division II. ... Trent Miles is leaving Indiana State to replace Bill Curry as Georgia State's football coach.

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