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The University of Minnesota has contacted former Gophers hockey players from the 1984-85 season and hired a law firm to investigate published allegations about sexual misconduct involving an assistant coach.

The U said in a statement Monday that it “takes this disturbing report seriously” and has hired Perkins Coie, an international law firm in Seattle, to “determine what happened.”

University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle has sent a letter to Gophers hockey players who were on the team in the 1984-85 season, the only one when the former coach, Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas, was on staff.

Adrahtas could not be reached Monday by the Star Tribune. When reached last week by The Athletic, he denied that he ever sexually abused anyone. His attorney also issued a statement that said: “Mr. Adrahtas categorically and unequivocally denies the allegations that have been presented.”

The Athletic reported last week that Adrahtas abruptly left his men’s hockey coaching position at Chicago’s Robert Morris University in 2018.

Months after Adrahtas left that job, The Athletic reported, players there learned that Adrahtas resigned because of allegations by a teenage player from the 1980s. The player had notified Robert Morris and the American College Hockey Association that he endured 20 months of sexual abuse by Adrahtas, The Athletic reported.

“In a 14-paragraph letter, the player wrote that Adrahtas used flattery, gifts and the promise of furthering the player’s career to gain his trust, exploited a fractured family relationship to gain legal guardianship of the player, and then subjected the player to repeated acts of sexual abuse while the player was tied up, blindfolded and bound by the ankles,” the story said.

The U encouraged anyone with relevant information to the coach’s activities at the U to contact the Perkins Coie team at minn@perkinscoie.com, a dedicated e-mail address for confidential reporting.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

Twitter: @rochelleolson