Seton LaSalle football coaches face possible suspension following WPIAL hearing

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021 | 7:37 PM


Administrators from four school districts raised recruiting allegations Tuesday against Seton LaSalle’s football coaches during a lengthy closed-door hearing with the WPIAL, a situation unprecedented in recent memory, WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman said.

The WPIAL intends to notify Seton LaSalle on Wednesday of its decision and any possible discipline.

If the WPIAL board finds the recruiting allegations valid, PIAA rules dictate the coach or coaches involved be suspended for at least one year. First-year head coach Mauro Monz and assistants Will Dodson and Jason Pinkston took part in the hearing.

The hearing lasted more than two hours. Seton LaSalle, part of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, asked for the hearing to be closed to media.

Monz did not respond to a message seeking comment.

WPIAL hearings for recruiting allegations are somewhat rare, and having four schools raise allegations together is unheard of.

“I’ve been a part of the board for over 10 years, and I would say (it hasn’t occurred) in that period,” Scheuneman said. “I don’t recall any time.”

Bethel Park, Brownsville, Canon-McMillan and McGuffey raised the allegations. All four had representatives participate in the hearing.

“Those are the four official complaints,” Scheuneman said.

According to PIAA bylaws: “Any person determined to have engaged in recruiting which is materially motivated in some way by an athletic purpose shall be disqualified from coaching any athletic teams of PIAA members for a period of at least one year.”

The section of the bylaws addressing recruiting violations starts with a warning to coaches: “Recruiting for athletic purposes is directly contrary to fundamental interests of PIAA and its member schools and any school engaged in such conduct should do so with the expectation that it will be treated harshly upon proof of such conduct.”

This fall would be Monz’s first season at the Rebels’ coach. He was hired in November to lead a program that went 3-13 combined over the past two seasons. He replaced Mike Zmijanac, who retired.

A 1992 Seton LaSalle graduate, Monz played for the Rebels under former coach Greg Gattuso.

Monz has coached for more than two decades as an assistant at the college and high school levels, and was briefly head coach at Carlynton in 2014. More recently, he served as an assistant on staffs at Mt. Lebanon and Baldwin.

Pinkston, who played football for Pitt and the Cleveland Browns, joined Seton LaSalle in November as the team’s offensive line coach. Dodson, who operates a 7-on-7 football program in Western Pennsylvania, coaches Seton’s wide receivers and running backs.

This was the second time this school year that the WPIAL investigated recruiting allegations involving Seton LaSalle’s athletics department. In August, the WPIAL suspended assistant baseball coach David Lee for one year for sharing social media posts enticing students to attend the school.

Along with the three football coaches, Seton LaSalle was represented Tuesday by principal Lauren Martin, interim athletic director Dante DeBaldo and representatives from the Diocese.

Separately, the WPIAL board voted after the hearing to deny eligibility to two Seton LaSalle transfers based on paperwork. Freshman siblings Mallory and O’Malley Daly were ruled ineligible for one year, Scheuneman said. The two came to Seton LaSalle from Brentwood, which flagged the transfers.

Seton LaSalle can request a hearing with the WPIAL board to appeal their ineligibility.

Mallory Daly was the leading scorer for Brentwood’s girls basketball team this past season. The team went 12-2 and Daly averaged 19 points. O’Malley Daly was a running back on the Spartans’ football roster last fall.

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

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