Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Clairton Coach Takes Hit

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Clairton Coach Takes Hit

Article excerpt

Clairton High School football coach Wayne Wade has been suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season for his critical comments about the officials after his team lost a PIAA championship game in December.

Bob Lombardi, executive director of the PIAA, said the league and the Clairton School District agreed on the length of the suspension. Wade also is on probation for a year and has been mandated by the PIAA to attend classes on coaching principles and mentoring. In addition, the PIAA publicly censured Wade and asked him to write a letter of apology, which he already did.

The suspension is about half of the season. Clairton will play either nine or 10 games next regular season, but Wade will be allowed to conduct the team's practices during the suspension.

Wade could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Lombardi said the four-game suspension is in line with other suspensions for coaches that violate the league's code of conduct. The PIAA has bylaws pertaining to coaches criticizing game officials to the media.

"The [PIAA] board felt a four-game was reasonable to try and get somebody's attention," Lombardi said.

Clairton lost in the Class 1A title game to Bishop Guilfoyle. After the game, Wade was highly critical about the officials to the media and also was critical of officials the past few years. The PIAA saw his comments in newspapers and on video.

Among his remarks, Wade said: "If you look at the laundry laid on the field, most of the time it was against us - and it happens to us all the time. Then in the fourth quarter it's against the other team to try and even it out. I've been saying this the last three years. It happens to us even when we win and it needs to stop.

"I don't want to keep harping on it, but the reason I'm saying it is because we go through this all year.

"I'm going to keep saying this because I'm not in the NFL. …

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