Lacrosse Killing Suspect Attacked Sleeping Roommate, School Officials Say

RICHMOND, Va. -- A University of Virginia lacrosse player charged in the death of a member of the women's lacrosse team attacked one of his teammates last year, but their coach did not know the gravity of the situation, school officials said.

George Huguely, 22, and the unnamed player went to men's lacrosse coach Dom Starsia days after the February 2009 attack and told him they had gotten into a "scuffle" but that they had worked things out, the university told the Washington Post for a story published Saturday.

University spokeswoman Carol Wood sent a statement to the newspaper rebutting its report based on anonymous sources that Huguely attacked a teammate while he was sleeping but that Starsia had not suspended Huguely from games after the incident. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the statement from the school on Saturday.

"At no time did either player disclose to Coach Starsia the underlying facts or gravity of what had actually occurred between them," Wood said, referring to the incident as an "attack."

Huguely was charged with first-degree murder in the May 3 death of women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love, 22. Huguely told police they had been involved in a relationship that had recently ended.

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The Post had reported that Huguely, who was dating Love at the time, was upset that his teammate walked Love home from a bar and kissed her.

Wood said Starsia asked both players for details, but that they declined, saying "they shared the blame for what had happened and had apologized to one another." Wood said Starsia pressed the other player, whose eye was bruised, again in private but the student reiterated that the teammates had resolved their differences.

Wood said the coach did not know that Huguely had attacked his teammate while he was sleeping until after the reports came out and he went back and talked to the player.

It was not clear if Starsia disciplined either student following the incident.

Charlottesville police are investigating whether there had been previous altercations between Huguely and Love, including one report that they argued at a bar the day before Love was found dead.

Huguely told police he kicked in Love's bedroom door, shook her and her head hit a wall several times. His attorney called Love's death an accident.

Huguely is being held without bond.

The top-ranked Virginia men's team began play in the national tournament against Mount St. Mary's on Saturday. The sixth-seeded UVA women's team plays Towson on Sunday afternoon.