PETERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A coaching controversy in Peters Township drew a huge crowd at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

There are concerns and allegations that many high school football players were compelled to play in games despite serious injuries like concussions.

“And that could set up a very serious problem where kids could get injured and actually end up having brain damage,” Mark Mortland, an athletic trainer at the high school, said. “So we’re trying to get awareness to the board that these actions are taking place.”

Many who spoke at the meeting urged the board to postpone the vote to renew the contract of head football coach Rich Piccinini.

“I think there are a lot of witnesses who have not been approached and I know that firsthand,” a speaker at the meeting said. “So all I am asking is if you do not have the information tonight to make a decision as to whether to hire a coach, I would ask you to postpone it for a month.”

However, the board voted 6-3 to approve his contract for next season.

Piccinini told KDKA-TV that he has no comment on the situation at this time.

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