Sunday, September 14, 2008


In addition to teaching two of my journalism classes back in my college days, Bill Moushey of the Post-Gazette is one of the best investigative journalists – ever.

Here's his latest, it involves former PIAA officials, one with a Canonsburg connection:

Read story here.


Anonymous said...

Dave Colligan has umpired many canon-mac baseball games over the years. He is a big reason why Chris Dittmar was hit in the face with a pitch against USC in 2007. It is not surprising that he has the rap sheet that he does.

Anonymous said...

what is on his rap sheet?

merril said...

This is garbage. Flat out garbage. PIAA officials are paid nowhere near as much as they should be considering the battering and bickering they have to deal with on a game-to-game basis. What is Moushey's point? Is he trying to publicly humiliate these men? I found his article very misleading, inappropriate, and unnecessary. Perhaps he needs to take a look at that "Win at all Costs" thing and apply some of the critiques to journalism. Sure he is exploiting a few officials with troubled pasts, but for what? Hi story? He didn't bring about any new information.

"The two men are among dozens of active and past PIAA-registered officials found with criminal records in a nine-month Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examination of 2,272 officials who have worked in this region since 2005.

The precise number of referees with criminal records was impossible to determine because the PIAA, citing privacy rules, repeatedly refused to confirm that individuals found in court records were, in fact, PIAA officials"

you are confusing me Bill...

It also says..."Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examination of 2,272 officials who have worked in this region since 2005."
Once again Bill is potentially misleading because he doesn't say that his is THE specific number of officials who have worked in this region. So as far as we know, the actual number could be doubled which would make his "dozens" (12?,24?,204?) a little bit less of a percentage of the whole. Go into any profession and you will find people with some type of criminal backgrounds. Why is this such a shocker? What types of jobs do we expect these people to be able to get considering their backgrounds? Honestly, think about it. People who commit crimes are human-beings too. We can't just hide them from the rest of the world and not give them another chance.

btw, let's say that "dozens" equals 48(4doz) which is lot, that is still only 2% of the officiating population that he investigated.

famous dave said...

Merril buy a clue. It is people like you that are the reason our country has so many problems. As was posted above, Colligan is the #1 reason why Chris Dittmar was injured (almost killed) while playing a baseball game in 2007. Colligan is a man with no integrity and his criminal background is further proof. The point of the article was to show what a fraud the PIAA was in the sense that they dismiss any and all prior infractions of their officials. It is similar to the very famous policy of "Don't ask, Don't tell" crafted by the US Military. Merril if you have kids now or will have them in the future, would you really want them to be exposed to the kinds of scum that the article mentions?

merril said...

famous dave,

dave colligan is mentioned 0 times in that article. what clue am i buying again?

merril #1 said...


The second Merril is an imposter!

This is the article about Coligan. Still feel that Bill is totally out of line here. Anyone know if these men mentioned in these article can make any sorts of legal moves?

famous dave said...

Merril have you definitely figured out that the article was broken into several pieces and one of the pieces focused almost entirely on the dealings of one david james colligan of canonsburg?

There is your clue. Maybe you are a little slow. I wonder if you are Merril Hoge and the slowness is a result of your concussion problems from your football days. Before you defend a sleeze-bag like colligan, make sure you get the facts straight.

Diamond Dave said...

Wow Famous Dave,

I think its time for you to get the clue. Your implications and personal attacks are pathetic. However, you blaming Dave for Chris Dittmar being hit in the head is borderline retarded. I highly doubt that Dave told the pitcher to throw at Chris. Perhaps Dave didn't handle the situation the best way possible but i think it is pretty hard to justify him as "reason #1"
why Chris was injured in the baseball game.

Having officiated with both Dave Coligan and Clint Helmick, I can say that neither one has ever compromised the integrity of the sport and neither has ever made me feel like my offspring would be harmed by "being exposed to the kinds of scum" that they are during a sporting event.

We are discussing sports officials, not school teachers. Very few officials are in it for reasons other than the enjoyment of officiation or the enjoyment of the sport.

Anonymous said...

i agree with diamond dave. clint was a pretty good umpire. unless he was playin with the catchers booty hole during the game its not that big of a deal.

Anonymous said...

Diamond is funny that you made the comment that we aren't dealing with sports officials and not school teachers. Shouldn't sports officials be held to the same standard as school teacher and coaches? Sports officials are sub-contracted by the district so they should be held to the same high standards since they are being paid by the district.

Why should it be ok for an official to have a criminal record but not a teacher/coach? All are dealing with the schools children. If you read the article it states that Dave was arrested for taking bets. So are you saying that it's ok that we teach our boys that it's ok to take bets, assult small school children, and do drugs and then turn around be work with school children? If this is ok...which it apparently is for now what kind of message are we sending our kids?

I hope Canon Mac and the other schools do the same thing as Char and get rid of Dave. I don't want this kind of person around my kids.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment. Officials should be held to the same high standards as teachers. I hope the Count (Montecalvo) and the district read the article and take action. Maybe famous dave can put a phone call into the district.

Anonymous said...

Diamond Dave, dare we group you into the Helmick-Coligan category? Given your defense is it fair to assume you have some skeletons in your closet and want this investigation called off before your name gets thrown into the mix?

How can any self-respecting individual suppport the actions of a Helmick or Coligan? Diamond Dave perhaps you should just resign now and take a stand against the media if you feel that slime like coligan and helmick are being railroaded here.

the new breed d.p. said...

Diamond Dave what's up home-slice? I used to love playing in games that you umpired. You are a tremendous umpire and I think all of the kids that have played along side you should be thankful. With that said, I feel that Coligan and Helmick should both be forced to resign from their positions. Coligan knew he was a convicted criminal (many times over) and yet he kept his mouth shut because he knew he couldn't get certified with his "rap sheet." That's about as dishonest as it gets. Additionally I remember Coligan umpiring games and occasionally he would mention games he had bet on and the point spreads involved in those games. This isn't a rehabilitated man; instead this is a criminal that is as dangerous as ever.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Diamond Dave, dare we group you into the Helmick-Coligan category? Given your defense is it fair to assume you have some skeletons in your closet and want this investigation called off before your name gets thrown into the mix?

How can any self-respecting individual suppport the actions of a Helmick or Coligan? Diamond Dave perhaps you should just resign now and take a stand against the media if you feel that slime like coligan and helmick are being railroaded here.


You got problems bro.

cynthia bucci said...

I know my hubby (Steve) and I wouldn't want our new baby around coligan or helmick.

S to the G said...

I don't understand how some of you interpret a full examination of details to be "supporting" "defending" "sticking up for" and all kinds of other crap like that. Merril is not the reason why our country has so many problems, as stated by famous dave. I think a large problem though is many people do not look at all the details or actually think about things. I don't understand why so few people can't read something without a pre-determined opinion. Stop seeing a headline and making a judgement before finishing what you are reading. Make decisions on your own and stop being fooled by crafty media members. Try to look at things from other perspectives and understand that when someone else does, that doesn't mean they are defending that perspective. Why do we read criminal background and assume that it is something horrible. A criminal background many times is a dumb mistake made years ago. So many of you forget that Merril was bashing Bill's article rather than defending those the article mentioned.

I know for a fact that some of you in here have played or your kids have played for youth, rec, aau, summer league, coaches that have had some sort of criminal background and you had little care about that. I can think of several in the Washington, Canon Mcmillan, and Chartiers Houston school districts over the past 5 years.
These people have kids and have families yet if they officiate a high school sporting event, every kid who plays will become evil or will be endangered.

Famous dave said...

S to the g,

I agree with most of your thoughts. However I do not agree with the idea that a criminal act many times is a dumb mistake as it pertains to dave coligan. His criminal behavior was not a single isolated incident. He has had legal problems for about 20 years and has shown no regard for trying to turn things around. Is he the worst person around? No. But I do have standards and am not will to accept the idea that he made a "dumb mistake" for each of the 6 times he has run afoul of the law with drug charges, gambling, and terroristic threats.

Anonymous said...

Did Coach get a new wife over the summer??? Last time I check Mrs. Bucci's name wasn't Cynthia.

Anonymous said...

I think Bucci's wife is named Shannon, so perhaps this Cynthia is a "friend?"

S to the G said...

Famous Dave... Prior to this post I didn't mention Dave Coligan once, did i?

You clearly have a personal disliking of him that stems from some sort of encounter with him and it is playing a roll in what you read. As i said before, try to read things with more of an open mind and block out your pre-determined opinions. Because you dislike Coligan, you took Merril's initial post to be a defense of Coligan rather than a bash at Bill Moushey's article(which it was). Merril's first post doesn't even mention Coligan, yet you go off on a rant about the man and even personally criticize Merril.

Whatever your beef is with Coligan, right or wrong, i think you need to settle it.

THIS IS NOT A DEFENSE OF COLIGAN, i don't really care for him either.

Anonymous said...

s to the g,

The grammar man strikes again. You use the word "roll" in your most recent post....I think you need to replace that with "role." The word "role" would fit your sentence best... if corrected it would read: "and it is playing a role (part) in what you said."

Please use proper grammar in the future. If you won't do it for yourself, please think of the children.

I'm not taking a side in your big debate with Famous Dave, just wanted to point out that it is really difficult to be taken seriously with such shoddy grammar.

s to the g said...

You use the word "roll" in your most recent post....I think you need to replace that with "role."

What is "that"... Eye be centsing a bit of this hear ambiguity.

Chris Bird Doogie said...

The movie Pineapple Express might be partially based on Dave Coligan. While he does not look or talk like James Franco, I was reminded of Dave "Pineapple Express" Coligan when watching that film.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on this Mr. Mike Kovake?

mike_kovak said...

Not sure who Mr. Kovake is.

jebby said...

the E is silent.

Merril said...

"In a recent article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it was reported that a few
PIAA-registered officials had been convicted of criminal offenses but had been allowed
to officiate PIAA Contests. The reporter did a thorough job and, while concerned that
any persons convicted of serious crimes have officiated Contests, PIAA was not
disappointed to see that fewer than 1% of the PIAA-registered officials in the District VII
and District VIII areas had prior criminal convictions of any kind, and most of those were
for misdemeanors and offenses that occurred 15 to 20 years ago. PIAA was even more
pleased to note that, after the thorough and yearlong investigation was completed, there
was no finding that any official, at any time, committed an offense relating to, or arising
out of, his or her officiating duties. In any event, PIAA was grateful that the reporter
brought to the attention of PIAA incidents that raise question about whether certain
officials should remain registered with PIAA."


Anonymous said...

* What's going on with the Canon-McMillan offense? If memory serves correct, one touchdown in three games. Four turnovers against Butler is not a winning road formula.

The coach believes he can just run the football! That's what is going on.You have to have some kind of passing game! Take a look at their passing stats,That is the story