LeRoy Gardner, the University of Minnesota's chief counselor, told top university officials he gave $500 to a Gopher football player in 1985 on orders from then head coach Lou Holtz, according to a published report.

Gardner said the money was supplied by Holtz, now the coach at Notre Dame, the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch said in a copyright story.Earlier this week, Gardner, the acting director of special counseling, announced he was resigning in disgust over the school's emphasis on athletics. Interim university President Richard Sauer said the resignation may have been prompted by Gardner's disappointment with his failure to be chosen for the permanent post directing the counseling office.

Holtz, who coached the university football team in 1984 and 1985 before moving to Notre Dame, denied the allegations Wednesday.

"I never, ever gave money to a student athlete in my time at the University of Minnesota or any other place," he said. "I never gave any money to LeRoy Gardner. He has an incorrect memory."