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Thursday, July 8, 2004
Cleaves, Neal allegedly assaulted counselor news services

PHILADELPHIA -- La Salle senior guard Mike Cleaves was charged with sexual assault Thursday, and authorities said they were waiting for a second player to turn himself in in connection with an alleged attack last month.

Meanwhile, school officials said men's coach Billy Hahn and women's coach John Miller had been placed on administrative leave.

Cleaves, 22, who turned himself in Thursday night, faces charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, and conspiracy, along with other counts, authorities said.

The second player, junior guard Gary Neal, is in Atlanta awaiting a flight back to Philadelphia, where he is expected to turn himself in, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported early Friday morning on its Web site.

The charges stem from an alleged incident involving a 19-year-old woman who told police she was assaulted by two players in a La Salle dormitory in June.

Hahn and Miller have been put on administrative leave with pay while police investigate.

"The coaches are not performing their current duties," university spokesman Joe Donovan said. "There's no specific timetable. It's linked to what we're trying to find out."

Donovan said the coaches were placed on leave Tuesday. Assistant Bill Dooley will oversee the men's program while assistant Tom Lochner will coach the women.

"It's disappointing," Speedy Morris, a former La Salle men's and women's basketball coach, told the Inquirer. "When you recruit kids, you hope they have morals and values."

Police are also investigating an allegation of another attack more than a year ago.

After the initial accusations, detectives learned that a player on the La Salle women's basketball team said she had been raped by a men's team player in April 2003 but never reported it to police.

Hahn is 37-53 in three seasons at La Salle.

The men's team has never recaptured its success from the 1980s when it made five of its 11 trips to the NCAA tournament. The Explorers haven't made the tournament since 1992. The 2003-04 season was the 50th anniversary of La Salle's only NCAA championship.

Miller has coached the Explorers for 18 seasons, going 317-203 with two NCAA tournament appearances.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.