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Men's basketball coach resigns after player says he made unwanted advance

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Mike Leaf left the Winona State program five days after the incident.

Mike Leaf
Mike Leaf

The head men's basketball coach at Winona State University in Minnesota has resigned after being accused by a player of making an unwanted advance.

Mike Leaf resigned June 26, five days after the incident, the Winona Daily News reported in a detailed story. Here are the main details:

[On June 21] the player spent an afternoon and evening with Leaf during which the former coach drank alcohol on several occasions, and served the player, who is older than 18, alcoholic drinks at Leaf’s house, the player said. Later in the evening he allowed the player to leave his house after trying to stop him, only to follow him to his apartment, lead him back to his house, and touch the player multiple times while the player was lying in Leaf’s bed, according to the player. All of the advances were unwanted, the player said.

The player, who spoke with the Daily News Thursday along with six team members who wanted to offer support, spoke on condition of confidentiality. He said he filed a formal complaint with WSU the morning after the incident. The Daily News has requested all information on complaints against Leaf; the university said it is actively investigating a complaint against Leaf, meaning that WSU can only confirm its existence, university officials said. ...

In a series of text messages Leaf sent to the player the morning following the incident, June 21, and which the player provided to the Daily News, Leaf said, "I am sorry if I did something wrong" and "I don't remember much at all." He invited the player back over to his house, an invitation the player declined.

The player, who is not named in the story and did not go to the police, said that Leaf reeked of alcohol and appeared to be very drunk. At one point in the night Leaf asked the player to put on a pair of white underwear and several times reached over to touch the player's hand. The player eventually left after Leaf appeared to fall asleep.

The player and his six teammates said they spoke to the newspaper to set the record straight and out of concern for Leaf. "We wanted him to get help," the player said. "I trusted him. The guy helped me through a lot of stuff. He did a lot of stuff for people in the community."

Leaf, 54, was the winningest coach in Winona State history and led the Warriors to two national titles in his 17 seasons. At one point, his teams won 57 consecutive games. He would not comment to the newspaper.

There are a lot more details about the reported incident in the Daily News story.