Clairton school board cuts ties with creator of fan page
Four games into the 2013 season, Clairton City School District is severing its affiliation with the Clairton Bears Football fan page.
During Wednesday's meeting, the board rescinded its agreement with Ed Thompson for the use of the Clairton City School District name and photographs on a sports-related website at www.clairtonbearsfootball.com.
The board's unanimous decision bars Thompson from using the Clairton name and publicizing the district's football program, president Richard Livingston explained.
But Thompson, who was unable to attend the meeting because of a personal conflict, said he has no plans to shut down the site.
“It's my website. I own it,” Thompson said. “They have nothing to stand on.”
Thompson publishes the Bears' schedule and roster along with photos from the sidelines at Neil C. Brown Stadium.
He operated Clairton Bears Football for two seasons without official district affiliation before the board gave its blessing to the site in August. He earns no income from the site, which does not feature advertisements.
“I'm not making a profit from these pictures,” he said. “I give these pictures away to the kids.”
Clairton Bears Football has become popular among fans and parents, some of whom asked Thompson to shoot graduation parties and family gatherings. It began after a year-long feature project in which Thompson, a Pleasant Hills resident, followed the Bears for the High School Sports Center website.
“The website gets about 3,000 hits a day on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays,” he said of the Bears site.
Thompson said he is no longer welcome on the sidelines.
“They don't want me around,” he said. “They told me I'm banned from everything but coming to the stadium and watching the games from the stands.”
District Solicitor Dan Beisler said the school board simply changed its mind after further review of Thompson's site.
Thompson, however, believes the change of heart was inspired by an ongoing conflict between himself and an assistant coach.
The district had no comment on that part of the issue, with Livingston stating the allegation is a personnel matter.
The vote was taken after a heated executive session in which athletic director Mike Linnert was questioned by the board.
Livingston said Clairton's football program does not need a boost from an outside website, because the district provides adequate coverage on its official site.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.