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WPIAL Board Issues Ruling On Brentwood-Monessen Incident

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After a lengthy investigation, the WPIAL issued a ruling regarding a basketball game between Monessen and Brentwood earlier this month.

During the game at Brentwood on Feb. 3, Monessen basketball players claim they were subjected to racial taunts.

“I hope that will never be the case again at any school in the WPIAL or in the state or ever again,” Chavas Rawlins, a Monessen player, said. “Hopefully that won’t be the case [any] more – no banana suits, no nothing, no disrespecting other schools – just all basketball, football, whatever sport it is.”

The players claimed two Brentwood students in banana suits ran around the court calling them “monkeys,” “cotton pickers” and more.

According to the statement, Brentwood administration and security acted swiftly and appropriately to the situation.

The two students in question were ejected from the game and were suspended.

“The students ran onto the court which no one is allowed onto the court during the time of play and immediate action was taken and that would have happened whether they were dressed in costume or whether they just ran on the court in general,” Brentwood High School Principal Jason Olexa said.

“So we were very happy to at least be able to share that information with the board and straighten out some of the misconceptions that were out there,” he added.

As a result of the quick action, neither the schools nor their employees will be suspended or put on probation.

However, the board was unable to specifically determine if any Brentwood student, student-athlete or fan used any racial slurs that night.

Both schools have expressed an interest to work together in order to ensure that an incident like this does not happen in the future.

A joint-action plan must be submitted to the WPIAL board by June 1, 2012, for review and approval.

The Monessen superintendent says she has not made a decision about appealing the ruling to the PIAA.

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