Moon’s Donovan Johnson remains ineligible after WPIAL denies waiver request

Monday, June 17, 2019 | 6:00 PM

The WPIAL denied Donovan Johnson’s waiver request Monday, leaving the Moon basketball star ineligible for his senior season.

PIAA eligibility rules limit students to six seasons of a sport after sixth grade. The WPIAL decided previously that Johnson already had reached that limit because he repeated the eighth grade and played basketball both years, one at Rhema Christian School and one at Moon.

Moon asked the WPIAL to grant a period-of-participation waiver, but that request was denied at the board meeting Monday.

“The WPIAL board denied it because they did not feel it met the criteria established for them to grant it,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said.

The WPIAL held a hearing for Johnson on June 5 but delayed its decision to allow his family time to submit additional information.

Johnson averaged 22.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this past season as Moon went 28-2 and won the PIAA Class 5A title. His list of Division I basketball offers includes North Carolina, Pitt and others.

He was the TribLive HSSN boys basketball player of the year last season, and also was named as the state’s Class 5A player of the year in all-state voting.

According to Article VIII of the PIAA bylaws, a student can be granted a waiver for “illness or injury” or “severe and unusual personal hardship.”

The rule says that a waiver can be granted if “a student demonstrates that the student repeated a school year or semester for a reason beyond the student’s control, which produced severe and unusual environmental, social, and/or emotional conditions which, in turn, created a debilitating personal non-athletic hardship which would have prevented a reasonable student under similar circumstances from satisfactorily completing a school year or semester.”

However, the PIAA rule also says the waiver “may be granted if the student participated in no more than 25 percent” of the team’s regular-season games in the school year that was later repeated.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .


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