Report: Aides raised concerns to Winona State about ex-coach's drinking


Winona State University is continuing its investigation of former men's basketball coach Mike Leaf, who resigned in June amid accusations that he made improper contact with a current player.

Winona State president Scott Olson issued a statement over the weekend saying the school remains committed to providing a safe and health setting for its students.

"We have clear policies to promote the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and others in our community. The University is committed to enforcing these policies by taking prompt and appropriate action when a complaint is received."

But did the school protect the safety of its students in this instance? Some don't think so.

According to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, a prominent former player and a former graduate assistant, John Smith said two assistant coaches approached Winona State athletics director Eric Schoh in 2013 to express concerns about Leaf's drinking.

The report indicates that Smith agreed to talk to the newspaper after he was fired as a GA last week by Schoh. Smith, a former standout on Winona State's 2006 and 2008 national championship teams, said a player's parent made a similar plea to Winona State's administration in 2013.

Smith told the Post Bulletin that there were practices and at least one game where Leaf seemed to be under the influence of alcohol.

But the university says there have not been any prior formal complaints against Leaf, during his 17 seasons as the Warriors' head coach.

Leaf won 382 games, six conference titles and two national championships during his tenure.

The investigation into Leaf is ongoing. According to the Winona Daily News, Olson said it is being conducted internally. Olson said the university has not considered bringing in an independent firm to conduct an investigation.

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