Shady Side Academy girls basketball coach Jonna Burke no longer facing suspension after judge’s ruling

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Friday, December 8, 2023 | 12:47 AM


After a judge’s ruling Thursday, Shady Side Academy girls basketball coach Jonna Burke is no longer facing a one-year suspension for contacting a junior high player’s parents via social media.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy issued a permanent injuction Thursday that said Burke “is restored to her full coaching status, rights and abilities at Shadyside Academy (sic).”

The injunction was issued “upon the stipulation of the parties,” which indicates both the plaintiff (Burke) and defendant (the PIAA) agreed to the conditions.

Shady Side Academy, the PIAA and WPIAL have resolved this matter,” Shady Side Academy chief marketing officer Diana Toole said Friday morning in a statement. “The parties stipulated to the issuance of a permanent injunction which prohibits the PIAA and WPIAL from seeking any further discipline against Coach Burke, and also immediately restores all of her coaching rights.

“Shady Side Academy and Coach Burke are excited to move forward, and enthusiastically anticipate a great season of basketball.”

The WPIAL suspended Burke for one year in July and the PIAA upheld the suspension in August.

In a 12-0 vote, the WPIAL board suspended Burke after she sent a direct message on Twitter to the parents of a junior high basketball player at South Fayette, offering to provide them more information about Shady Side Academy.

Burke argued that the parents following her on Twitter constituted a request for information, which would have made her offer permissable.

In September, Burke filed a lawsuit against the PIAA. In November, Reed Eddy issued a temporary injunction allowing Burke to continue coaching.

Burke is one of the most successful active coaches in the WPIAL with more than 500 career victories in 28 seasons.

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