PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The WPIAL Board of Directors is seeking a one-game suspension for Penn Hills Football Head Coach Jon LeDonne following an incident at Norwin during the 5A Championship game.
According to Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, someone set off a smoke bomb either on the sidelines or in the stands when Penn Hills took the field against West Allegheny on Nov. 23.
According to White, the same incident occurred in the semi-finals matchup a week prior and the team was ordered not to do it again by the league. LeDonne apparently asked whoever was responsible for the smoke bomb not to repeat the actions at the WPIAL Championship.
Along with the one-game suspension, the WPIAL is ordering the coaching staff to take a sportsmanship class.
KDKA-TV’s Rich Walsh says Penn Hills is planning to fight the penalties levied on the program.
“Penn Hills will appeal WPIAL punishment for @phqbclub and @Coach_LeDonne suspension concerning smoke on sidelines at Norwin HS for WPIAL Championship game against West Allegheny.”
The school district also released a statement Tuesday:
“While we do not condone this behavior from our students, it is our clear and distinct impression that the coaches gave specific directives about refraining from such behavior after Nov. 16, and they had absolutely no involvement in either incident; therefore, we will be appealing any/all sanctions directed at members of our coaching staff.”
The WPIAL will hear the appeal sometime in January.
Penn Hills went 16-0 in 2018 winning a WPIAL and PIAA title to cap off the undefeated season.