By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Supporters of former Pine-Richland head football coach Eric Kasperowicz gathered before a school board meeting at the district offices.READ MORE: 'A Solemn Day For A Solemn Ride': Local Police Honor Fallen Officers With Memorial Ride
Dozens of supporters showed up Monday to voice their support for Kasperowicz and his coaches, who all did not have their contracts renewed.
Tonight a rally for former Pine Richland Football coach Eric Kasperowicz whose contract wasn’t renewed amid an investigation into bullying and hazing allegations. Today the coach released a letter he sent to the District asking for a meeting to discuss getting his job back.@KDKA pic.twitter.com/P4X2dVEVZ6
— Jennifer Borrasso (@JenBorrasso) May 3, 2021
The decision has led to backlash from community members. Before Monday, multiple other rallies were held to show support for the football coaching staff.
An attorney for the family of a Pine-Richland student 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.
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.
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— Eric Kasperowicz (@CoachKasper) May 3, 2021
On Monday, Kasperowicz released a letter he wrote last week to the board and school administration. He apologized for any role he had in his dismissal and asked the board to reconsider its decision.
In the letter, he said his attitude during a March meeting with officials may have played a role in the decision to cut ties. He also offered to create a locker room monitoring policy and asked for a chance to meet.
Watch as KDKA’s Lindsay Ward reports:
Kasperowicz did not want to talk, but his parents did.
“We are trying to back Eric because everybody believes in him and we don’t think there was anything wrong that was done,” said Mark Kasperowicz
“This is just so upsetting for our family and we’ve reached out to the board, the administration with no response back to Eric,” said Cindy Kasperowicz.
Last month, Eric Kasperowicz released the letter from district officials informing him and his staff why they would not have their contracts renewed.
- Gateway Athletic Director, Football Coach Don Holl Asks Coaches Not To Apply For Pine-Richland Job
- After Losing Job, Eric Kasperowicz Reapplies To Be Head Football Coach At Pine-Richland
- Pine-Richland Head Football Coach Eric Kasperowicz And Entire Coaching Staff Will Not Return In Fall
- Assistant Pine-Richland Football Coach Believes Coaching Staff Was Victim Of Power Grab By School Officials
- More Coaches And Players Speak Out After Pine-Richland School District Removes Football Coaching Staff
- Pine-Richland School Board Member Resigns; Parents And Students Voice Support For Eric Kasperowicz
- Family’s Attorney Says Pine-Richland Officials Used Child As Scapegoat For Football Coaching Staff Losing Jobs
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.MORE NEWS: Tractor-Trailer Crash Leaves Two People Dead
KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso talked to a school board member who said nothing is changing at this point.