WPIAL schedules appeal hearing for Penn Hills football, coach Jon LeDonne
By: Chris Harlan
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 | 5:00 PM
Penn Hills football coach Jon LeDonne, facing a one-game suspension, will have his appeal heard later this month.
The Penn Hills administration appealed the entirety of the WPIAL discipline handed down last month as punishment for a pregame smoke bomb in the football playoffs. The WPIAL scheduled a hearing Jan. 21 in Green Tree, WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said Tuesday.
Penn Hills’ principal, athletic director and football coach were asked to attend.
The WPIAL board voted Dec. 17 to discipline LeDonne and the school’s athletic department after someone on Penn Hills’ sideline ignited a smoke device before the WPIAL championship Nov. 23 at Norwin.
The WPIAL had told Penn Hills’ administration that its team wasn’t allowed to create a smoke cloud, but that directive was ignored, O’Malley said last month.
The WPIAL discipline included:
• A one-game suspension for LeDonne.
• Sportsmanship education class for the football staff.
• A one-year probation for the football program.
• Censure of the administration and football staff.
The smoke stretched the length of the field at Norwin Knights Stadium minutes before Penn Hills faced West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 5A final. Penn Hills had also created smoke before the semifinal this season, O’Malley said, and the WPIAL informed the school that it was not permitted at the championship.
In a statement issued Dec. 18, Penn Hills administration said it would appeal:
“While we do not condone this behavior from our students, it is our clear and distinct impression that the coaches gave specific directives about refraining from such behavior after November 16, and they had absolutely no involvement in either incident; therefore, we will be appealing any/all sanctions directed at members of our coaching staff.”
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
Tags: Penn Hills