Monessen likely will file appeal
District believes penalties too stiff
The Monessen School District feels the penalties placed onits athletic programs by the WPIAL after a brawl in a boys basketball game are too severe. Thus, Monessen plans to askthe PIAA for leniency.
Monessen has informed the WPIAL that it likely will appeal the sanctions imposed by the league Monday after a hearing. PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said Wednesday that Monessen school principal Eric Manko asked Tuesday about the proper procedures to appeal. Manko was not available for comment, but WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said he believes Monessen will appeal a five-year probation penalty placed on all athletic teams at the school.
The penalties came because of a brawl in a game Feb. 6 between Monessen and Clairton. Two players from Clairton and Monessen started fighting in the fourth quarter and dozens of fans immediately spilled onto the court. Fans were fighting players and other fans.
Among the penalties the WPIAL placed on Clairton and Monessen was a five-year probation period. Under the probation, any violation or incident by a team in any sport will result in the team being banned from the WPIAL playoffs for that season, and a loss of scheduling by the WPIAL the next two years.
“I would assume that’s what Monessen is appealing because the other restrictions are upcoming,” O’Malley said.
Among the other penalties placed on Clairton and Monessen were a limit of 30 tickets provided to each school for WPIAL playoff games through the semifinals. All players who dressed for the game and came off the bench during the fights must serve a one-game suspension. Some of the suspensions already havebeen served.
Also, Clairton must play all home games the next two seasons at 4 p.m.
Lombardi said the next time the PIAA board of directors will hear appeals is March 21. Neither O’Malley nor Lombardi has heard from Clairton officials about an appeal.
“The rule is they have 30 days to appeal from the date of a district decision,” Lombardi said.