PIAA set to sanction coach over remarks about officials

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)
  • The PIAA has decided it wants sanctions on Clairton football coach Wayne Wade.
  • Wade made critical comments after officials after a PIAA title game in December.
  • The PIAA is not revealing the sanctions just yet. It wants the school to approve the sanctions.

The PIAA has decided it wants sanctions on Clairton football coach Wayne Wade for his critical comments about officials after a PIAA championship game in December. But the PIAA is not revealing the sanctions just yet.

The PIAA board of directors met in executive session Wednesday in Mechanicsburg, and drafted sanctions it wants placed on Wade. But the PIAA is putting the ball back in Clairton’s court, wanting the school to approve the sanctions. They could include probation for Clairton’s program, but sources said a suspension from coaching also is likely for Wade.

Wayne Wade

“The proposal [of sanctions] was unanimously approved by our board,” said Bob Lombardi, executive director of the PIAA. “The proposal will be shared with Clairton’s principal [Tom McCloskey]. And Clairton’s school board will meet next month to discuss our board’s proposal. Our hope is for them to accept what has been recommended.”

PIAA bylaws state the league can penalize a coach for critical remarks of game officials. Wade spoke to a group of reporters after Clairton lost the PIAA Class 1A championship to Bishop Guilfoyle and was highly critical of the officials in that game and also the past few years.

“If you look at the laundry laid on the field, most of the time it was against us — and it happens to us all the time. Then in the fourth quarter it’s against the other team to try and even it out. I’ve been saying this the last three years. It happens to us even when we win and it needs to stop.

“I’m going to keep saying this because I’m not in the NFL. I’m not in college. I can’t be fined. So I’m going to keep saying it every chance I get.”

When told the PIAA could penalize him for his comments, Wade said, “Tell them to penalize me. What is the penalty? Whatever it is, I’ll take it.”

Two years ago, Wade was suspended for one game and Clairton’s team placed on probation for a year because of their behavior in another loss to Bishop Guilfoyle in the 2014 PIAA title game.

Johnson still ineligible: The PIAA often overturns WPIAL rulings on player ineligibility, but the PIAA upheld a previous WPIAL ruling that makes Jeannette basketball player Anthony Johnson ineligible to play the rest of this season.

Johnson is a sophomore who has attended four schools in a year-and-a-half (Chartiers Valley, Lincoln Park, Allderdice and Jeannette). He left Allderdice shortly before the season and transferred to Jeannette, where he averaged 27 points in four games before being ruled ineligible by the WPIAL. The league claimed he transferred for athletic reasons because he was removed from the team at Allderdice. The PIAA sustained the WPIAL’s decision after an appeal hearing Wednesday.

The PIAA has a rule in its bylaws that clearly states a student-athlete can be ruled ineligible if he “seeks to avoid or nullity the effect of actions or anticipated actions by the previous school relating to sports eligibility.” In short, an athlete can’t transfer and be eligible if he was removed from a team at the previous school.

Tomlin sons transfer: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic was the Steelers North in the WPIAL. Not any longer. Recently, there was an exodus from North Catholic of people associated with the Steelers.

First, Jason Gildon was fired as North Catholic’s coach in December. Gildon, second on the Steelers all-time sacks list, was North Catholic’s coach for two seasons. A few weeks ago, Patrick O’Shea was hired as the new coach.

Since O’Shea was hired, the sons of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin have transferred to Shady Side Academy, according to North Catholic officials. The Tomlins live in Squirrel Hill. Young Mike Tomlin is a sophomore who played football at North Catholic. Mason Tomlin is a freshman who only played basketball.

Also in recent weeks, Joey Porter Jr., a football player, left North Catholic and transferred to North Allegheny. His father, former Steelers linebacker and current assistant Joey Porter Sr., resides in North Allegheny’s district. Amosis Porter, a freshman football player and Joey Porter Sr.’s nephew, also transferred to North Allegheny, along with Gildon’s two sons — freshman Justus and junior King. The Gildons also reside in North Allegheny.