PIAA denies Lincoln Park appeal, forces boys basketball team to Class 4A

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | 11:20 PM


The Lincoln Park boys basketball team must move to Class 4A next season after the PIAA denied its final appeal Wednesday.

Athletic director Mike Bariski argued in an online hearing that the PIAA competitive-balance rule shouldn’t force the Leopards or any other team into a higher classification because of the way it’s written and because the playoffs were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

The board voted 24-5 to reject Lincoln Park’s appeal.

“I do think there are some tweaks we can make,” PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said. “But I also think that when you play basketball for 100 years and you’ve never missed a round … that it’s tough to write a rule for a one-time pandemic that might happen once in a lifetime.

“I think everybody knows the intent (of the rule).”

The competitive-balance rule promotes basketball teams that accumulated at least six “success points” under the PIAA postseason formula and added at least one transfer, in a two-year period.

The PIAA awarded Lincoln Park four points for reaching the PIAA Class 3A finals in 2019 and two more points for reaching the PIAA quarterfinals this season. However, the rule says two points are awarded for “participation” in the quarterfinals, and Bariski noted that the state basketball playoffs were canceled after the second round.

Lincoln Park qualified for the quarterfinals, Bariski said, but no team in the state “participated.”

Another PIAA school, Trinity of Camp Hill, made a similar argument Wednesday and lost its appeal 24-6.

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

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