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updated: 11/27/2013 5:26 PM

Illini staff member on leave after gun charges

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Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A University of Illinois football staff member charged with pointing an unloaded handgun at a vehicle has been placed on leave.

Matt Sinclair is a former Illinois player who is the assistant director of player personnel and relations. He was placed on leave late Tuesday. School spokesman Kent Brown said he will continue to receive his $80,000-a-year salary.

Sinclair is charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon.

He hasn't entered a plea, doesn't have an attorney and his phone is disconnected.

Police said Sinclair's Saturday arrest followed a report of someone pointing a handgun from a truck on Interstate 74 at what turned out to be an SUV carrying Illinois football staff.

Officers found a handgun in Sinclair's truck and say he told them the incident was a joke.

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