LEECHBURG (KDKA/AP) Police are investigating reports that younger players have been assaulted by older players on a western Pennsylvania high school basketball team for about a decade.

Leechburg Police Chief Mike Diebold characterized the incidents as “assaults” not hazing, and say they involved use of a stick and had sexual connotations.

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Parents who say they know something about the issue contend the issue may be overblown and say the stick wasn’t used to sexually penetrate any player.

But people in the area are disturbed by the allegations.

“No one should have to go through anything like that at all. If that’s true, I know nothing about that, if that’s true someone should pay for that,” said Jim Henry

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But Diebold says the police have received “some very serious allegations” through a statewide abuse hotline and information that the incidents were going on for the past 10 years.

“What took them 10 years to come forward with this? And who kept the stick? And how are you going to prove this, investigate this,” said Danny Taylor.

The Leechburg Area High School team has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs that begin next week. The school board has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday night about the boys’ basketball team.

No specific players have been accused. School officials aren’t commenting citing confidentiality.

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