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Hoeppner hopes to return to sidelines this fall

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner is
still undergoing medical treatment and remains intent on returning
to the sideline.

Athletic department officials released a short statement from
Hoeppner on Tuesday, the first update on his health since an
announcement nearly two months ago that he would not coach spring
practice to recuperate from brain surgery.

"I continue to receive medical treatment and remain inspired to
return to coaching when my health permits," Hoeppner said. "I
love Indiana University and Indiana football and will make
decisions in the best interest of the program, as I have always
attempted to do."

The statement gave no details on his treatment, health or when
he might rejoin the team.

Hoeppner had brain surgery twice in a 10-month span and has now
left the team three times since December 2005.

His last major public appearance was in late February when he
spoke during an NCAA luncheon in Indianapolis. He also attended a
news conference earlier that month to announce Indiana's newest
recruits although the assistant coaches answered most of the
questions and provided most of the details.

Hoeppner left Miami (Ohio) in December 2004 to return to
Indiana, his home state, and take over a Hoosiers program that last
went to a bowl game in 1993.

A year later, he had a tumor removed from his right temple and
last September he had a second operation on the right side of his
head. He then left the team for two weeks but watched both games
from the press box before rejoining the team. Hoeppner later
implied follow-up tests showed no recurrence of the tumor, but that
doctors had removed only scar tissue.

Hoeppner is 9-14 in his two seasons at Indiana, and he has
reinvigorated enthusiasm in the program by reaching out to students
and fans. In December, Hoeppner signed a two-year contract
extension that would keep him in Bloomington through June 2012.

But last month, Hoeppner announced he was skipping spring
practice to regain his strength and energy, and when the Hoosiers
played their annual crimson-and-cream game on April 14, he did not
attend.

Assistant Bill Lynch filled in as interim coach during each of
Hoeppner's absences.

Indiana also has two football camps scheduled in mid-June, but
there has been no announcement regarding whether Hoeppner would run
them.

Athletic director Rick Greenspan has not provided many updates
on Hoeppner's condition, citing both privacy concerns.

In Tuesday's statement, Hoeppner again asked the media to
respect his privacy, and Greenspan said he hoped Hoeppner would
recover quickly.

"Hep's health is of the utmost interest and concern to us,"
Greenspan said. "We'll continue to provide him with all of the
support that we can with hopeful anticipation that he'll get well
as quickly as possible."