Hempfield Coach Says Suspension Is Unwarranted

By Foreman, Chris | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 12, 2008 | Go to article overview

Hempfield Coach Says Suspension Is Unwarranted


Foreman, Chris, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Hempfield Area head boys basketball coach Bill Swan will serve a two-game suspension next season as a reprimand for using foul language toward a fan at a playoff game and for "strong suspicion" of directing profanities at players on other occasions.

Swan, who has filed a grievance against the district, claims he's being singled out for language because he believes some school board members want to fire him. But three directors said Friday that his job status never was under consideration.

The reprimand issued last week refers to Swan's choice of words to a heckler after Hempfield's Feb. 9 loss against McKeesport at Plum Senior High School as justification for suspending him for two away games next season and requiring Swan to undergo four anger management sessions.

"I used the word 'ass,' and that is what my discipline is for," said Swan, a Hempfield Area High School guidance counselor.

Swan also said he's been questioned by district officials in recent months because of allegations he's called his players profane names, including one alleged incident from five years ago.

He denies the allegations, but said the written reprimand refers to a "strong suspicion" of other incidents.

A separate grievance, challenging some aspects of a 13-page evaluation by Athletic Director Greg Meisner, also was filed. Meisner declined to comment about the evaluation because it's a personnel matter.

Joe Scheuermann, president of the Hempfield Area Education Association, said he and Swan offered to sit down with the school board in an executive session at its upcoming workshop meeting Monday, but the board hasn't responded.

"We have already filed a grievance, and we will go to arbitration, and absolutely everyone knows we will prevail," Scheuermann said. …

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