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High school notebook: Minnie heads to PIAA for another hearing

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Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 9:44 p.m.

Lincoln Park's Elijah Minnie will try again to convince a panel that he should be allowed to play basketball this season.

Twice ruled ineligible by the WPIAL and once by the PIAA, the junior from Monessen will present his case Thursday afternoon during a PIAA appeals hearing in Mechanicsburg.

“I have confidence in the PIAA that they'll hear what we're trying to say,” Lincoln Park athletic director Mike Bariski said. “But if somehow everything gets misconstrued and they don't hear what we're saying, we're not done.”

If found ineligible again, Minnie's case would enter the legal system, Bariski said, “because we feel we're right.”

The 6-foot-8 forward was initially ruled ineligible Oct. 3 when the WPIAL's board of control decided that his transfer was athletically motived.

That decision was upheld by the PIAA on Nov. 15 when a five-person appeals board agreed. Minnie was granted a second WPIAL hearing Dec. 17. New evidence was presented there by Minnie, and Lincoln Park officials intended to refute earlier claims that he was recruited to the Beaver County charter school.

But the WPIAL again ruled him ineligible, this time in part because Minnie had not considered some schools closer to home.

Minnie averaged 15.5 points last season for Summit Academy, a school in Butler County for delinquent teenage boys. Once his stay there was complete, Minnie enrolled at Lincoln Park rather than return to Monessen.

Coaching hire

Laurel on Tuesday hired Pat Cuba, who was Neshannock's head coach for five seasons (2007-11). Cuba works as an elementary school teacher in Laurel's district.

Coaching opening

A search for a new football coach has begun at Freedom. Frank Hernandez recently resigned after being promoted from social studies teacher to assistant principal, said athletic director John Rosa. Hernandez was 6-14 in two seasons with the Bulldogs, who reached the WPIAL Class AA playoffs last season. Also without a coach this winter were Canon-McMillan, Deer Lakes, Imani Christian, McKeesport, Pine-Richland, Plum, Shenango, Steel Valley and Chartiers Valley.

Shenango has chosen Hopewell assistant Mike Commesso as its candidate, said athletic director Jan Budai. The school board will vote Monday.

RMU bound

Seton-La Salle quarterback Luke Brumbaugh has committed to Robert Morris. The senior had 1,803 passing yards and 19 TD passes last season.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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