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The director of Nihon University’s rugby department apologized on the team’s website on Wednesday for the repeated abuse of players by the school’s former head coach.

According to the post by the director of rugby, Satoshi Hirayama, students’ statements accused the head coach of abuses such as sticking toothpicks in a student’s head and forcing a student to drink alcohol.

“I apologize for this trouble from the bottom of my heart,” the statement read. “We take this matter extremely seriously, and will make every effort to prevent it from happening again.”

The statement said that the coach, a man in his 40s, was brought in from outside the university and that after an investigation it was determined he should be dismissed. The coach, however, offered to resign for “personal reasons” and the school accepted his resignation.

Both Hirayama and the team’s director, Katsumi Nakano, have received severe warnings from the school, which became the focus of attention in 2018 when coaches of its football team were deemed to have ordered a player to injure opponents through unsportsmanlike tackles.

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