WPIAL rules Bongiorni ineligible ..... Pine-Richland softball team broke rules with early games

Written by Mike White on .

By Mike White | Thursday, April 22, 2010, 10:05 p.m.

Some items from WPIAL meetings today

Dylan Bongiorni transferred from Burgettstown to West Allegheny in January, but the WPIAL ruled him ineligible for sports until next January, saying his transfer was least in part for athletic reasons.

Bongiorni is a sophomore and a talented two-sport athlete. He was Burgettstown's starting quarterback as a freshman and sophomore and threw for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman. In basketball this season, he was averaging 19.5 points a game when he quit the team and transferred a few weeks later.

After a hearing today with Bongiorni, his family and officials from both schools, the WPIAL Board of Control ruled him ineligible for one year from his date of transfer. That would be next January. Thus, Bongiorni will miss all of football season and part of basketball season.

Reporters were not allowed to attend the hearing, per the Bongiornis request. But one thing that definitely hurt Bongiorni's cause is when he transferred, he moved into the West Allegheny district with his uncle. His parents stayed at Burgettstown. A move like that sometimes sends up a red flag to the WPIAL. Bongiorni's parents have since bought a house in the West Allegheny district, but still have a house in Burgettstown.

A few other things on the case. Burgettstown didn't sign off on the transfer because it thought athletic intent was involved. Lee said one of the main reasons Bongiorni left Burgettstown was because Bongiorni was treated harshly by Burgettstown basketball coach Brendan Cypher.He claimed Cypher used abusive language toward Bongiorni. But in the PIAA by-laws, a list of examples is given that "may indicate athletic purpose." One of the reasons states, "The student, or a parent or guardian, or an adult with whom the student resides, has a problem with a Coach of school administration at either a personal or professional level."

Lee said the Bongiornis will appeal the ruling to the PIAA.

Look in tomorrow's Post-Gazette for a little more on the transfer.

Pine-Richland penalized

The WPIAL threw some penalties at Pine-Richland because its softball team played three games in Florida two weeks before Pennsylvania teams were allowed to play.

The WPIAL publicly censured Pine-Richland coach Amy Kurtz and athletic director Clair Altemus. The WPIAL also put Pine-Richland on probation for a year (both penalties are basically slaps on the wrist). The WPIAL also wants a written report on how Pine-Richland will implement a plan to better oversee sports teams' trips outside the state. The WPIAL said Altemus claimed he didn't know the team was playing games in Florida because he was not involved in approving the trip, and also because Kurtz was a first-year coach. The school board approved the trip.

The games were played March 13-14. Pennsylvania teams were not allowed to play softball games until March 26.


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