PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — WPIAL officials have made a decision regarding a scuffle at a high school football game.
The league requested a hearing after a game between Jeannette High School and Imani Christian Academy ended early due to safety concerns.
As Imani Christian Academy football coach Ronnell Heard and Jeannette coach Roy Hall went into the hearing before the board of directors on Wednesday afternoon, the two were ready to explain what happened on Graham Field Saturday during the fourth quarter with four minutes and 30 seconds left to play.
“Somebody tossed a bottle. Players came across the field. My boys didn’t retaliate, which I’m very proud of,” said Hall. “With teenage boys, it could have been pretty nasty.”
The Wilkinsburg field is Imani’s home field.
At the hearing, game officials said things became uneasy, and that they decided to stop the game and call police due to an atmosphere where the situation could have quickly escalated.
WPIAL officials say no punches were ever thrown, but five Imani Christian players were ejected for leaving the sideline and coming near the Jeannette sideline.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the WPIAL board of directors publicly censured Imani Christian Academy’s head coach Ronnell Heard and his staff. They say that he needs to have more control over his football team.
The WPIAL officials say that the censure isn’t necessarily a specific punishment, but more of a public reprimand.
The administration at Imani Christian Academy also must submit a security plan by 4 p.m. Friday to address safety concerns.
Thursday, Imani Christian’s CEO said:
“We’re waiting in something in writing from WPIAL. We’re perplexed so much is being made of a high school football game. Rules were broken and action was taken.”
WPIAL officials also said Imani Christian needs more security at its home football games.
The five students ejected from the game are suspended from this Friday night’s match-up against the Clairton Bears.