February 04, 2015

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) A former University of New Hampshire women's hockey coach has admitted he assaulted a player during a 2013 home game.

Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi said Wednesday that Brian McCloskey made the admissions in writing Tuesday as part of a diversion program that requires him to take anger management classes and perform 100 hours of community service.

He admitted pulling a player's jersey, prompting her to land on her back on the bench. After causing her to fall and hit her head on the bench, he held her face mask with his hand.

She was not seriously injured.

Velardi says McCloskey's admission sets the record straight and he hopes it will prompt a conversation in the coaching community about acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

''My hope is that this serves to encourage students and other coaches who witness abusive conduct that goes under the guise of `old school coaching' to speak up,'' Velardi said. ''In this instance we're lucky there were people who reported what they saw right away. Many other student athletes simply don't get that kind of support and are told to suck it up.''

Velardi said the assaults took place during the Nov. 30, 2013 home game against Ohio State. He said the ''extreme'' nature of the case prompted his office to file charges.

McCloskey's lawyer didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

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