Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Coach Given Expectations Board Action Disappoints Some on Girls Basketball Team

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Coach Given Expectations Board Action Disappoints Some on Girls Basketball Team

Article excerpt

West Jefferson Hills school officials have outlined a list of "expectations" for the high school girls basketball coach following months of contentious meetings in which some team members sharply criticized his treatment of them and called for his ouster.

The school board announced Dec. 10, after a lengthy closed-door meeting days before, that it would keep Phil Shar on as coach.

The decision was a disappointment for 10 former players and their parents, who were hoping Mr. Shar would be dismissed or have a prior suspension reinstated, after which the girls planned to rejoin the team.

The girls have complained about what they described as Mr. Shar's verbal abuse and humiliation of team members.

Others on the team, however, lauded Mr. Shar as a fine coach who's dedicated to helping them become better players.

Board members declined to say what the district's expectations are for the coach, although new school board President Brian Fernandes said, "We have listened to all stakeholders involved in this very complicated, sensitive issue."

Parent Mike Mascaro of Jefferson Hills said he admired the 10 girls.

"They took a stand for something they really believe in, and not just for their own benefit but for the girls to come. At great personal sacrifice, the girls gave up something they really love," he said of playing basketball.

Superintendent Michael Panza said the 10 girls who chose not to play for Mr. Shar may rejoin the team anytime before the playoffs, according to WPIAL regulations.

?"?I am happy, and ?I? am very happy with my team?, both the varsity and the junior varsity teams," Mr. Shar said when contacted Tuesday. ?"We think we're going to have a great season."

?"T?he girls on my team and the parents were very supportive during this situation?," he said. "I really appreciate the 10 girls and the 10 sets of parents? …

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