Pa. high school boys' basketball coach suspended one game for tweet about technical foul

MIKE WHITE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)
Matt Furjanic

Woodland Hills High School boys basketball coach Matt Furjanic has been suspended by the school for one game because of his post on Twitter questioning a technical foul he received from an official in a game because he used the word "dammit."

Matt Furjanic confirmed Thursday he has been suspended from coaching Friday night's home game against Berlin Brothersvalley. Furjanic declined further comment.

Woodland Hills' decision comes after the WPIAL on Wednesday publicly censured Furjanic and recommended Woodland Hills take further action against Furjanic if the district felt it was justified for Furjanic not adhering to sportsmanship expectations as outlined by PIAA by-laws. The WPIAL made its decision after the league's board of directors conducted a hearing with Furjanic on Wednesday afternoon.

The WPIAL told Furjanic the reason for the hearing was his tweet this past Sunday about the technical foul he received in a Jan. 8 game against Gateway. Furjanic claimed he got the technical because he complained about the lack of a traveling call and said to an official, "dammit, that's steps."

The PIAA, which includes the WPIAL, has been taking steps to discourage offensive language toward officials and established a rule this year where a player or coach can get a two-game suspension if ejected for "using foul or vulgar language, ethnic or racially insensitive comments or physical contact."

Furjanic wasn't ejected from the game. But his Twitter post got him in a little hot water with the WPIAL. He also "tagged" the WPIAL Twitter account in the post.

Furjanic claimed he doesn't believe "dammit" is a swear word.

"Well the new cursing rule I got a T for Dammit. My Mom used to say that & she never cursed. Seems HS officials can be subjective in this rule. Needs clarity. If I put God in front I see. My Mother never said those 2 together. Maybe a list of words should be given out. @wpial7."

It's likely nothing would've happened to Furjanic and there would've been no WPIAL hearing if he didn't make the tweet. He informed Woodland Hills athletic director Ron Coursey after the game that he received a technical. Coursey said Thursday the school couldn't comment on Furjanic's case because it's a personnel matter. Coursey is the former York High AD.

Furjanic apologized to the WPIAL and admitted he should not have made the tweet. WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman said the league doesn't want to get into policing social media but felt Furjanic's tweet merited examination. Woodland Hills took action after the WPIAL hearing.

Furjanic has been coaching basketball at the high school and college levels in six different decades. He is in the second year of his second stint at Woodland Hills.