Woodland Hills suspends boys basketball coach Matt Furjanic 1 game for social media post

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Thursday, January 14, 2021 | 5:15 PM


Woodland Hills suspended boys basketball coach Matt Furjanic for one game in response to a social media post last week that criticized game officials.

Furjanic confirmed the suspension Thursday after his appeal was denied by the school’s administration. He’ll sit out Friday’s home game against Berlin Brothersvalley.

The WPIAL board held a hearing Wednesday and elected to only censure Furjanic — essentially a public admonishment — for using Twitter to dispute the technical foul he received Dec. 8. The WPIAL left any additional discipline such as a suspension to Woodland Hills’ discretion.

“I am disappointed that my administration gave me an additional penalty after the WPIAL gave me a censure,” Furjanic said Thursday.

Furjanic said he was assessed a technical foul during the first quarter at Gateway for saying: “Dammit. That’s steps.” After the game, he searched online to see whether his exclamation was considered a curse word and found the web labeled it a “mild imprecation.”

On Twitter, Furjanic suggested the WPIAL provide a list of banned words. He tagged the WPIAL’s official Twitter account in the message.

The tweet said: “Well the new cursing rule I got a T for Dammit. My Mom used to say that & she never cursed. Seems HS officials can be subjective in this rule. Needs clarity. If I put God in front I see. My Mother never said those 2 together. Maybe a list of words should be given out. @wpial7”

PIAA sportsmanship rules prohibit coaches from criticizing contest officials “through the media or to student-athletes or spectators, rather than through the appropriate review process.”

Furjanic apologized at Wednesday’s hearing and acknowledged he used poor discretion.

Along with Furjanic’s censure, the WPIAL will require Woodland Hills to submit a plan that “outlines preventative measures, education sessions and informational documents that they’ll provide to their staffs to make sure coaches are aware of expectations and how to address complaints,” WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman said.

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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