BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — Bethel Park hockey is rich in tradition and winning.
So, the arrest of a former standout player and assistant coach, who had a previous criminal record, has a lot of people asking questions.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League is now asking questions about why Kenneth Lehman was hired by the team as an assistant coach, knowing he had an extensive criminal history, as well as why parents weren’t told.
“They talk about specific crimes you may or may not have been convicted of,” said Bob Sebastian, of the Pa. Interscholastic Hockey League. “Parents should be made aware. That’s the reason for these background checks and certifications, is to let parents know.”
When Lehman was picked up in the Park ‘n Ride parking lot on Thursday, he told police he had a 10-bag-a-day heroin habit, that he often brought the drug in Sheraden and said he often times shot up in the lot.
Lehman is now in the Allegheny County Jail.
He’s telling friends and associates that he’s sorry, and that he was clean of heroin for two years and recently relapsed following an illness.
KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “You feel badly, do you not, sir?”
Bethel Park Hockey Coach Jim McVay: “I feel bad for him, yes.”
Griffin: “And did you know he had a drug problem, coach?”
McVay: “In the past he did. We had no knowledge of any drug use whatsoever now or he would have had nothing to do with Bethel Park hockey.”
That’s the rub, the Bethel Park Hockey Board and the coach wanted to give Lehman a second chance.
They watched him closely, and had some concerns recently. Now, he’s in jail and gone from the team for good.
The coach is promising to talk to his team.
“We’re going to talk about mistakes in life because we don’t want to ever see any other player have a drug problem.”
Various governing bodies around the state are now discussing the possibility of new rules, not allowing anyone with felony arrests to coach high school players regardless of the circumstances.