PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Pine-Richland head football coach Eric Kasperowicz has released the letter from district officials informing him and his staff why they would not have their contracts renewed.
Kasperowicz shared the letter, which was sent to him on April 14, with KDKA on Thursday.
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BREAKING 🚨: Coach Eric Kasperowicz has just sent me the letter from Pine-Richland detailing their investigation into hazing allegations. Along with reasons his contract was not renewed @KDKA pic.twitter.com/SRrnIg7s1Y
— Bryant Reed (@Reed_Reports) April 22, 2021
The letter summarizes the district’s investigation into hazing and bullying allegations in the football program. The letter says the investigation revealed incidents of hazing, “rites of passage,” and intimidation, “particularly in the locker room for years.”
The letter also claims there were at least five “off-the-field fights.” “Neither you nor any of the coaches on your staff reported these incidents to the director of athletics or administration,” the letter stated.
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“Multiple students experienced harm from the behaviors and unsupervised environment over a period of years,” the letter said.
The letter states Kasperowicz had a lack of ownership and his responses and demeanor were things they took into consideration. Kasperowicz told KDKA’s Bryant Reed that he understands he made some mistakes, but he has nothing to hide.
Kasperowicz, other coaches and players deny there was hazing that took place under his watch. Former assistant coach Todd Jochem said the staff was a victim of a power grab by school officials.READ MORE: Kenny Pickett Passes Dan Marino For Most Career Touchdowns
The decision has led to backlash from a number of community members. Multiple rallies were held to show support for the football coaching staff.
An attorney for the family of a student has claimed the district used the child as a “scapegoat” for the decision to not renew the contracts of the coaching staff.
The district says the boy was bullied and hazed. But the family’s attorney, Joel Sansone, says none of that had anything to do with the football team.
The district released a statement Thursday morning, denying the allegation.
“In response to recent media inquiries, there is absolutely no truth to allegations that the Pine-Richland School District, its School Board, staff or anyone acting on its behalf at any time leaked information, “scapegoated” any student, implicated or identified any student to anyone in any part of its investigation into the allegations of student misconduct and overall misconduct within the football program as it relates to the District’s decision not to renew the Head Football Coaching Supplemental Contract of Eric Kasperowicz. The decision not to offer Coach Kasperowicz a 2021-2022 supplemental contract was based upon: (1) findings from a three-month investigation; (2) documented football program-related events over multiple years during the Coach’s tenure with the program, and (3) the in-depth interview itself that was held with Coach Kasperowicz. These areas were outlined in a letter to Coach Kasperowicz that he is able to share.”
Sansone claims the district leaked his client’s name and used the situation to have Kasperowicz removed from his position.
“That had nothing to do with the football team, the football program,” Sansone said, “or this very good, honest coach who is a man filled with integrity. This coach spends time teaching these young men how to be good students, citizens and ball players.”
In the letter, the district said assistant coaches could be rehired under the new coach.MORE NEWS: Fire Breaks Out At St. Vladimir Ukrainian Church In Arnold
The Pine-Richland football program is the reigning 5A WPIAL champions and PIAA State champions. Kasperowicz has won four WPIAL titles and two state championships.