WPIAL rules Minnie ineligible ... again
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The second time around for Elijah Minnie hoping to play basketball for WPIAL Class A champion Lincoln Park was again denied by the WPIAL.
After Lincoln Park petitioned the WPIAL for a second hearing on Minnie's eligibility, citing new evidence, the WPIAL agreed to hear the evidence at a hearing Monday in Green Tree.
Minnie transferred to Lincoln Park after spending the 2011-12 school year at Summit Academy.
Monessen, Minnie's home district, fought the transfer.
The WPIAL had previously found the 6-8 junior to be ineligible at Lincoln Park in an October hearing saying the transfer was athletically motivated and the PIAA subsequently upheld the ruling.
Monessen Principal Brian Sutherland, who attended Monday's second hearing before the WPIAL Board of Control, said he thought that the WPIAL would be denying the appeal.
“Lincoln Park's new evidence was mainly information by Elijah's mother on why she wants her son to go to Lincoln Park instead of Monessen,” Sutherland said. “There was some other stuff as well. Myself and our solicitor (John Toohey) had very little to day. It was mostly their new evidence.”
With phone records and testimony from mothers of two teammates, Lincoln Park attempted Monday to disprove previous WPIAL findings that Minnie was recruited to the Beaver County school.
Minnie insisted during the hearing the transfer has been beneficial to his academic improvement and was not motivated by athletic intent.
“If I wanted to be a star, I would have stayed at Monessen and done whatever I wanted,” said Minnie, who averaged 15.5 ppg last year at Summit Academy.
During the hearing, his mother, Justina Minnie, described an environment of “drug trafficking and shootings” in Monessen that she wanted Minnie to avoid.
But WPIAL board members were not convinced that desire alone fueled the transfer because Minnie still resides in Monessen and they viewed those problems as community-oriented and not school-related,WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley said.
Justina Minnie said she could not move because of a mortgage arrangement with the city of Monessen. But, she also admitted a number of alternate schools closer than Lincoln Park were not considered.
Mike Bariski, who serves as the athletic director at Lincoln Park, a charter school located in Midland, said he was notified of the decision after the hearing.
“I thought we put up a great case,” said Bariski, who planned to appeal the decision to the PIAA.
Sutherland said he was told by O'Malley that a second appeal to the PIAA could he held in January.
Lincoln Park is the top-ranked WPIAL school in Class A this season.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Trib Total Media staff writer Chris Harlan contributed to this story.
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.