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(Reuters) - The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the handling of numerous sexual assault allegations involving students at the University of Montana, where at least two members of the football team are accused of rape.

University President Royce Engstrom told Reuters he was informed of the inquiry during a 30-minute meeting in Missoula on Monday.

Recent rape accusations against two prominent football players, the abrupt dismissal of their coach and the university athletic director, and a university report documenting at least eight other alleged sexual assaults involving students have shaken a school whose football team, the Montana Grizzlies, is revered in the state.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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