LEECHBURG (KDKA) — On a cold day in Leechburg, there is still a hot topic of conversation.
The allegations that police are investigating hazing on the boys’ basketball team with the use of a wooden stick that could rise to the level of criminal assault rather than just teen pranks.READ MORE: 'I Just Got A High IQ:' Antonio Brown Downplays Mental Health Issues To 'CBS Mornings'
Tuesday night’s board meeting considered whether to pull the entire team from the regional playoffs, but the board didn’t even get a second to that idea.
That drew an emotional response from the crowd that argued not to punish the whole team.
Team captain John Burtick says the case has taken its toll.
“It’s been kind of stressful for all of us,” he said. “The allegations just messed with the whole team and the school.”
On Wednesday, many townspeople agreed that the investigation should be complete before severe measures are taken.
“I think they should let them play,” said John Tierney, a Leechburg resident. “Until they find out and get to the root of the problem, I think they should let them play.”
“I think all the adults up there did a good job last night,” said Shawn Sanders. “I think why punish the whole team?”READ MORE: High Winds Fan Flames Of 4-Alarm Fire At Former Butler Co. Business
But there are alleged victims who are represented by Pittsburgh attorney Timothy Schweers. He would say little about their point of view.
“They’re not well, but I can’t go into details,” he said.
It was also revealed Tuesday by attorney Larry Lutz, of Butler, representing the coach, that new policies have been put in place governing the team.
“He has promptly, as soon as he was aware of what was going on, provided the board and superintendent with policies and procedures put into place to prevent anything like the allegations from possibly happening in the future. It’s my understanding there have been no problems since that has been put into place,” Lutz said.
The Leechburg Police chief says information gathered during interviews has added validity to the allegations.
But his investigation isn’t complete and an internal investigation by the school board has been authorized but has yet to begin.MORE NEWS: Kennywood, Sandcastle, Idlewild Looking To Hire More Than 2,000 Workers For Upcoming Season
The WPIAL says the decision to allow Leechburg to play next Tuesday against Monessen was entirely in the hands of the school district.