Billy Hahn and John Miller, the basketball coaches at La Salle University in Philadelphia, resigned yesterday in the midst of two separate rape investigations involving players on the men's team, including accusations by one La Salle women's player that she was discouraged by the coaches from telling police she was sexually assaulted.
Hahn, the men's coach and a former assistant at Maryland, and Miller, the women's coach, had been on administrative leave since July 6, shortly after charges were filed against men's players Michael Cleaves and Gary Neal, a native of Baltimore and a former star at Calvert Hall.
Cleaves and Neal, who are no longer enrolled at the school, were charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual assault -- as well as other lesser charges -- in connection with a June 24 incident in which a 19-year-old woman serving as a counselor at Miller's basketball camp said she was raped at an on-campus party. Neal, 19, was the Explorers' leading scorer last season.
In a separate incident in 2003, a La Salle women's player said she was raped by a player on the men's team but said the coaches asked her not to pursue the matter.
"This is a complex situation and not a judgment on the personal character of the coaches, but the university's policies and procedures are clear," La Salle President Michael J. McGinniss said yesterday in a statement read at a news conference. "When it comes to the safety of our students and our community, there is no room for personal interpretation of our rules."
McGinniss did not take questions from reporters, and a La Salle spokesperson said Athletic Director Tom Brennan would not speak about the resignations -- or the next steps for the basketball programs -- until Monday at the earliest.
The departures of the La Salle coaches took place at the same time as a grand jury investigation in Colorado into widespread accusations of sexual misconduct involving University of Colorado football players.
Hahn played guard on some of Maryland's best teams before graduating in 1975. After a three-year head coaching stint at Ohio University, he returned to College Park as an assistant to Gary Williams when Williams took over the Maryland program in 1989. Hahn spent 12 years under Williams, culminating in the school's first trip to the Final Four in 2001. Hahn was named head coach at La Salle following that season and was 37-53 in three years with the Explorers.
Reached yesterday while recruiting in Las Vegas, Williams said he had spoken to Hahn since Hahn was placed on administrative leave, but not since he resigned.
"It's tough," Williams said. "It's his career. I mean, it's just a shame for everybody involved. As a coach, you're always on watch. And when you're a head coach, it's your watch. It's hard on everybody."
Hahn could not be reached to comment, but his attorney indicated that he would likely speak publicly about his resignation this week.
Miller went 317-203 in 18 seasons at La Salle. In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, he denied that he told his former player not to go to the police.
"I in no way discouraged one of my players from going forward publicly with any kind of rape allegation," Miller said. He said that the woman did not want the matter to become public.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.