WPIAL sets hearing date for Connellsville, Allderdice to address racial, anti-gay slurs

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Friday, September 20, 2019 | 12:31 PM


Representatives from Connellsville and Allderdice will meet next week to address allegations that the schools’ boys soccer teams used racial and anti-gay slurs.

The WPIAL scheduled the hearing for Wednesday afternoon in a meeting room at the Pittsburgh Plaza Hotel, executive director Tim O’Malley said. The WPIAL board voted unanimously on Monday to hold a hearing but waited to schedule a date until after conferring with the schools.

The allegations are connected to a Sept. 1 game. The schools’ principals, athletic directors, head soccer coaches and select players are requested to attend the hearing.

The allegations came to light when more than 30 Allderdice parents signed a letter attached to a Change.org petition entitled “Confront Racism in Western Pennsylvania.”

The letter says “Connellsville players goaded one Black and one Latino member of the Allderdice team with racial slurs.” It also contends that Connellsville players “utilized forms of physical touching likely intended to distract and intimidate.”

Connellsville’s administration in a statement alleged that Allderdice players directed homophobic comments toward a Connellsville player.

O’Malley said Monday that the WPIAL received varying reports.

“We’ll try to establish in a factual manner what took place and what we might be able to do in response,” he said.

The WPIAL organized a similar hearing last September when Penn Hills accused Connellsville players of racial slurs.

After that investigation, the WPIAL board found the testimony of the Penn Hills players credible and believed it was “likely that at least some racial slurs or racially insensitive comments were directed to a Penn Hills player or players.”

The WPIAL required Connellsville to train its student-athletes in racial and cultural sensitivities.

Administrators at Connellsville and Allderdice attempted to resolve this year’s incident themselves, the way many disputes between member schools are handled. However, the WPIAL board decided Monday that it needed to become involved.

Allderdice is a member of Pittsburgh Public Schools but joined WPIAL soccer as an associate member in 2012.

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

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