PETERS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — An investigation is reportedly underway into Peter Township High School’s football program amid reports that some student athletes on the team may have been playing with possible head injuries.
According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Children & Youth Services is now investigating Peters Township High School’s head football coach, Rich Piccinini.
KDKA-TV first reported that Piccinini is accused of sending players with suspected concussions back in the game on a repeated basis — against the recommendations of professional trainers.
“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 told KDKA last week. “So we’re trying to get awareness to the board that these actions are taking place.”
The school board, however, announced that it has conducted an internal investigation and found no wrongdoing.
Superintendent Dr. Nina Zetty released a statement late last night that read in part: “While injuries are an unfortunate part of athletics, Peters Township diligently works to ensure that our student athletes are properly trained and playing under the safest possible conditions.”
“Going forward,” Dr. Zetty continued, “we will work to improve the communication between coach and trainers regarding athletes who are out-of-play with daily updates on their progress. This is not a matter taken lightly by the coaches, administration, or the Board of School Directors.”
Just last week, the board voted 6-3 to renew Piccinini’s contract for next season.