Former coach wants to inform others of rules

Updated: August 23, 2004, 10:56 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

La Salle announced Maine's John Giannini as its new head coach Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, former Explorers men's basketball coach Billy Hahn sat at his Philadelphia-area home, just like he has for most of the past month.

Curious about what happens to the fired coach?

"I'm jumping off the walls," Hahn told ESPN.com Monday. Hahn was forced out along with La Salle's women's coach John Miller following the revelation that they held separate meetings with a women's basketball player on Miller's team in June 2003 after she alleged one of the men's players sexually assaulted her in April of that year.

The existence of the sexual assault claim and the meeting came out after two other men's basketball players, Gary Neal and Michael Cleaves, were charged in June 2004 with the rape of a University of New Haven women's basketball player at Miller's basketball camp.

Miller and Hahn were both put on administrative leave July 9. They were forced out July 24.

"I used to be a workaholic and now all of a sudden I've got no job," Hahn said. "There's nothing worse than not having to work. It's unbearable. I can't handle it. I got done by 11 a.m. making calls, networking and at 4 p.m., I wish it were already midnight. I've been married 28 years, and my wife is tired of me staying home every day."

Hahn said he understands in hindsight that holding a meeting with the woman was the wrong move and not forwarding the information was what got him fired.

But he still insists that the woman didn't want him to pass on her information. He said Monday that he didn't meet with the woman by herself. He said there were two other women's basketball players present. He also said he met with his player before meeting with the women's player. He said he did all of this after Miller had met with the woman, too.

The violation of university policy by both coaches occurred when the information wasn't given to the proper authorities under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

The landmark federal law requires colleges and universities to disclose information about crime on campuses. The Clery Act was named after Lehigh freshman Jeanne Ann Clery, a 19-year old student who was raped and murdered while she slept in a dorm April 5, 1986.

According to the securityoncampus.org Web site, Clery's parents, Connie and Howard, discovered that 38 violent crimes on the Lehigh campus were never reported. The law was enacted in 1990 and then amended in '92 to require sexual assault victims rights on campus and then again in '98 to include reporting requirements.

Hahn had no idea about the law.

"No one knows about it," Hahn said. "I should have reported the meeting. I know that now. I've had calls from coaches all around the country, and they've all said to me that this could have easily happened to them. Some told me that they've had this same situation and nobody knows about it."

Hahn received a settlement from La Salle that he said allows him to sit out the 2004-05 season without being financially strapped.

But then what?

He said he doesn't know what he's going to do. He said he already couldn't stand the boredom of not working.

But he said he has to find a way to educate coaches on the Clery Act and any other university policy. His solution is for every NCAA institution to give its coaches tests on the university student handbook, the athletic policy and procedural manual.

"I was never educated on that or the Clery Act," Hahn said. "There was never a seminar on any of that."

Hahn is 51, but at least he got paid. Potentially worse off in this scenario will be his three assistants if Giannini doesn't hire them.

Assistants Stephen Stewart and Bill Dooley were hired in the spring. Louis Twigg and Matt Hahn, Billy's son, were on the staff last season. Matt will soon be unemployed since he's not expected to be retained by Giannini.

"Stephen and Louis are out of jobs and they haven't done anything wrong," Hahn said. "Bill Dooley can survive [financially] without a job for a bit. But the other two are living paycheck to paycheck. This is a horrible time to go and try and find a job in our sport."

Hahn said he's not losing sight of the alleged victims, the women. But he said there are other casualties at La Salle.

Hahn has coached at five Division I schools: one year at Davidson, three years at Rhode Island, nine years at Ohio University (six as an assistant, three as a head coach), 12 at Maryland as an assistant and the past three as head coach at La Salle.

"When something like this happens, you become sour on the business," Hahn said. "I've done the right things the right way for 30 years and never cut corners. Then this happens. It's not fair. I know no one wants to hear it, but the coaches usually get slammed and lose their jobs. It's a sad commentary on coaching right now."

Hahn said he would be willing to be an assistant again. But he doesn't know if someone will hire him because he was the coach at a school where two different sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred in the past two years.

For now, he sits and waits and doesn't know what he's going to do to pass the time.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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