Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No suspensions for Jeannette, N. Catholic

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Terrelle Pryor and his Jeannette basketball teammates can compete in the semifinal round of the state basketball playoffs.
The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League ruled Tuesday that players from Jeannette and North Catholic will not be suspended for Saturday’s post-game fight at Hempfield. The ruling means Jeannette will be at full strength for its game against Erie North East on Wednesday.
Testimony during Tuesday’s hearing did not show exactly which players were involved in the fight, said WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley.
“The board felt the penalties assigned should be equal,” O’Malley said. “The board did not feel what was presented (at the hearing) was severe enough or one-sided enough to take one of these teams out of the playoffs.”
The WPIAL, which doubles as Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 7, said both athletic programs will be placed on two years’ probation and that players and coaches must attend anger management classes by the end of the school year.
The coaches, principals and athletic administrators at both schools will be publicly censured, O’Malley said.
Also, both schools must give the WPIAL a written plan on how future athletic contests will be managed. Jeannette’s plan is due Wednesday.
Pryor is considered the nation’s best unsigned prep football player and is the Jeannette’s top basketball player. He had 21 points, six rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots during Jeannette’s 86-60 win over North Catholic.
Pryor, a star quarterback, has said he would not sign with one of his football finalists — Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan or Oregon — until after his basketball season ended. He is the only Pennsylvania high school player to rush for at least 4,000 yards and pass for 4,000 during his career.


Anonymous said...

What a classic gutless decision by the WPIAL. There was a brawl. People were injured. There were LOTS of witnesses, but they couldn't determine who was involved? That organization has NO credibility. Hey, O'Malley, how about lining up the Jeanette kids and asking, "did you punch someone"? If every one of them says "no", and since North Catholic players are cut and bruised, then you just suspend the whole team since they are lying. How about asking the Jeanette players, "why did all of you walk down to the other end of the hall to the North Catholic locker room"? What possible reason was there other than to fight? The WPIAL makes the schools read a sportsmanship statement before every game and has a sportsmanship motto posted on their website. It looks like either the WPIAL never read it, or their sportsmanship is selective. I hope the OR writes a column on the utter gutlessness of this decision. And who wants to bet that Pryor NEVER attends the "anger management" classes?

Anonymous said...

If you weren't there, you don't have the truth either. Easy to point fingers isn't it. I guess none of the North Catholic team was at fault.