Villanova University Expels 3 Incoming Freshman Football Players in Sex Assault Probe

Three incoming freshman football players at Villanova University have been kicked out of school following a university investigation of an alleged rape of a student, and now township police are also investigating, authorities said Thursday.

The alleged sexual assault occurred on campus on July 14, and was reported to Villanova's public safety department the next day, university officials said at a news conference Wednesday night.

"It was a report of forcible rape," spokeswoman Liz Kennedy Walsh said.

The three players were asked to leave campus last Friday. After an investigation, the university said it decided to rescind their admission.

They were enrolled for one summer class and knew the woman who reported the assault, Walsh said.

At the evening news conference, university officials said the woman had, at least initially, decided not to go to the police.

"Our primary concern has been the welfare of our students and particularly the students who have been involved in this situation," Villanova athletic director Vince Nicastro said. "We've tried to move forward with a great deal of respect for them and we trust that everyone else will do that as well."

On Thursday, the university and Radnor Township police both confirmed that the woman had subsequently contacted police.

In a written statement, police Supt. John Rutty would say only that his department "is investigating an alleged sexual assault at Villanova University."

Andy Talley, Villanova's coach since 1985, said the players had been on campus for about two weeks and had been working out with the rest of the Wildcats. He said he talked to all three players to get their side of the story.