PIAA denies Lincoln Park basketball player Minnie's transfer
Lincoln Park basketball player Elijah Minnie again was declared ineligible Thursday when the PIAA upheld an earlier ruling by the WPIAL.
The 6-foot-8 junior, who previously attended Monessen and Summitt Academy, transferred to the charter school in Midland before this school year, a move the WPIAL found was made with athletic intent. A five-member PIAA hearing panel in Mechanicsburg confirmed that finding Thursday afternoon with a 3-2 vote, said Lincoln Park athletic director Mike Bariski, who believed the issue might bring further action.
“I would call it close to a travesty,” Bariski said. “Everything that Monessen provided we refuted with evidence ... but they still ruled him ineligible.”
Minnie attended Monessen as a freshman. He spent last school year at Summit Academy, a school in Butler County for delinquent youth, where he averaged 15.5 points for the basketball team. He then transferred to Lincoln Park, a performing arts school in Beaver County with a successful basketball program.
Monessen, his home district, contested the transfer.
“It was a blatant case of recruiting for athletic intent, and we simply could not stand back and let that happen,” Monessen athletic director Gina Naccarato said. “I feel sorry for Elijah, but what Lincoln Park did was wrong. We had to stand up against it.”
The WPIAL's board was unanimous when declaring Minnie ineligible in October but rarely of late has the PIAA supported the WPIAL's transfer rulings.
“The decision to uphold District 7's decision just reaffirms our findings,” said North Hills athletic director Dan Cardone, a member of the WPIAL and PIAA boards.
Jeff Oliver contributed to this report. Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.