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Partial eligibility regained for Mt. Pleasant sophomore Malara

| Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The WPIAL Board of Control announced Tuesday that Mt. Pleasant sophomore Marcus Malara, who transferred back to his home district from Greensburg Central Catholic, is eligible to compete in all sports except basketball.

Malara, who was denied athletic participation at Greensburg Central Catholic by principal Denise Myers, told the WPIAL that GCC wasn't the right fit and he was happier and more comfortable at Mt. Pleasant.

"I didn't fit in with the students," Malara said. "GCC isn't all what it's built up to be."

Malara told the board of control that an article, which appeared in the Tribune-Review talking about his medical history, was plastered up in the locker room by some basketball players, which bothered him.

Myers told the board the situation did occur, and it was handled by her and basketball coach Greg Bisignani.

She also felt the transfer back to Mt. Pleasant was athletically motivated, which was the same stance she held when denying to sign off on athletic eligibility at GCC for football and basketball. Malara played golf in the fall for the Centurions and could have played baseball in the spring.

The Malara family will have an opportunity to appeal the WPIAL's decision on his basketball ineligibility for next winter to the PIAA.

WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley also was asked by the board to send letters to Peters Township and Imani Christian Academy officials.

Board members want to hear more information on how things were handled by Peters Township administrators following an ugly incident during a basketball game against Woodland Hills on Feb. 18 at California (Pa.) University. The board was satisfied with what Woodland Hills sent in and how it handled the situation.

The WPIAL wants Peters Township officials to meet with board members to explain how they handled the situation.

The BOC also wants a reason why Imani Christian Academy officials didn't file the necessary eligibility paperwork the WPIAL requested.

"We asked for that information to be returned in early March, and we have yet to receive anything," O'Malley said.

Imani Christian could be put on suspension beginning July 1 and not allowed to compete against any PIAA member school. School officials have been invited to the April board of control meeting.

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