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Suspended Hamline basketball coach leaves school

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Hamline University says suspended basketball coach Nelson Whitmore has left the school after a player was accused of punching a woman.

Hamline said Wednesday that Whitmore and the St. Paul university agreed he did not violate any NCAA or Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference policies. But Hamline says there is "mutual agreement" his departure "is the best course of action."

Whitmore was suspended in early January after former Hamline forward Eugene Lawrence III was arrested in Spokane, Wash., while on a team trip. Lawrence was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly hitting a woman in the face at the team hotel and has pleaded not guilty.

Whitmore was in his sixth season as the Pipers' coach. Athletic director Jason Verdugo (vur-DOO'-goh) will continue as acting coach for the rest of the season.

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