La Salle puts Hahn on leave amid probe

Police investigate 3 players accused of sexual assault

July 09, 2004|By KEN MURRAY | KEN MURRAY,SUN STAFF

La Salle University has placed men's basketball coach Billy Hahn and women's coach John Miller on paid administrative leave in the wake of a police investigation into rape allegations against three players.

The allegations cover two separate incidents on the school's Philadelphia campus over the past two years.

Hahn completed his third season at La Salle in March after a 12-year run as a Maryland men's assistant under Gary Williams.

Citing the Buckley Amendment, which protects students right to privacy, university spokesman Joe Donovan yesterday would confirm only that the administrative leave was effective Tuesday, "but was not, according to the university, a disciplinary action."

Neither would Philadelphia's Special Victims Unit confirm the identities of any of the players under investigation.

The most recent sexual assault case involved a 19-year-old female student from the University of New Haven in Connecticut. She told Philadelphia police that she had been raped by two basketball players on June 24 around 1$a.m. in a dormitory on La Salles campus after a party where there had been drinking.

The woman had been working at a basketball camp at La Salle.

No arrests have been made, and both players voluntarily submitted DNA samples when questioned. Broadcast reports from Philadelphia this week said the players' DNA matched genetic material recovered from a dorm room.

Those players are no longer enrolled, or living, at the school, according to a letter sent to La Salle students by Dean of Students Joseph J. Cicala.

Donovan declined to clarify the letter, saying the two players "could have withdrawn, been suspended or expelled."

"The purpose of the letter was to let the university community know that the two folks people [on campus] might be fearful of are not enrolled and not on campus," Donovan said.

Police are also looking into an accusation by a 20-year-old La Salle player raped her in April 2003. The 20-year-old woman was accompanied the by 19-year-old alleged victim from New Haven to Germantown Hospital and Medical Center, where the La Salle student told police that she was sexually assaulted.

She also said that certain coaches within the La Salle basketball program had discouraged her from reporting her allegation.

Under federal law, schools must tell alleged sexual assault victims of their rights to notify law enforcement.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News contributed to this article.

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