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Mankato Player Investigation Follow-up

One of the stories I've been following for the past couple months is the accusations charged against a group of Minnesota State hockey players. You can read about the initial accusation of sexual assault as well as the the players side of the story.

The Minnesota State Reporter ran two more stories on the case today. The first was just going over the player's side of the story once again. Austin Sutter explained the events on the night in question and tried to discredit the accuser.

The second article was a little more interesting. They talked with Austin Sutter and Shane McCormick about how the accusations have affected their life. They talked about the difficulty they've had in school dealing with the negative publicity. They also said they've received a ton of support from their teammates, and from the women's hockey team, despite the accuser being a member of the team. They said all they wanted was a public apology that would clear their name.

The players were extremely disappointed in the lack of support they received from head coach Troy Jutting and athletic director Kevin Buisman. They made the decision to sit the players in question for the final 5 games of the season while the investigation was going on.

It's been rumored that Jutting isn't the most well-liked guy among his players, and not standing up for his own players in this situation probably isn't going to help the situation. It's obviously a difficult spot to put Jutting in because he looks bad now, but he would have looked even worse if he had chosen to keep those guys in for the critical playoff games and it turned out they were guilty. He could have, however, sat the players out without making it look like he was presuming their guilt. If he had come out to the media and said that the players had told him they were innocent, but he was holding them out of the games so the investigation wasn't a distraction to the team, that would have looked a lot better. It's got to be difficult for Sutter to walk back into the Mankato lockerroom knowing his own coach doesn't trust him.

There are rumors circulating that the police have finished their investigation and no charges will be filed against the players. There should an article stating that in tomorrow's Star Tribune.