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U of I extends Athletic Director’s administrative leave

The University of Idaho has extended the administrative leave of Athletic Director Rob Spear.

The university said it took the action until an external review into how the department handled past allegations of sexual assault is completed, the report reviewed, and a decision made on Spear’s employment status.

Spear was placed on a 60-day administrative leave in April after several former female athletes complained about past sexual assault allegations.

“It is never easy to examine one’s own actions critically,” said President Chuck Staben. “We know we have made improvements in how we approach sexual assault allegations but we need to know that we are doing all we can to keep our students safe. That is our number one priority.”

Consultants were hired in April to review how the university handled sexual assault allegations in 2012 and 2013 and other related matters.

The university said its goal is to better understand how the department managed such allegations in the past, improve its practices, and provide the safest learning environment for students.

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