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WPIAL adds details for procedure regarding cooling-off period for coaches

Chris Harlan
| Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, 6:24 p.m.
Clairton coach Wayne Wade walks the sideline in the fourth quarter of the Bears' 35-22 loss to Berlin Brothersvalley in their PIAA Class A quarterfinal game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, at Conemaugh Township High School.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Clairton coach Wayne Wade walks the sideline in the fourth quarter of the Bears' 35-22 loss to Berlin Brothersvalley in their PIAA Class A quarterfinal game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, at Conemaugh Township High School.

The WPIAL released more details Thursday about the cooling-off period required for coaches and players before engaging in media interviews.

The waiting period was set at 15 minutes “following the conclusion of the event,” according to the wording approved this week by the WPIAL Board of Directors. The policy applies only to WPIAL playoff games.

The idea behind the cool-down period was to allow “coaches and players the opportunity after tough losses to gather themselves before they say something,” WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said Tuesday.

The WPIAL board seeks to eliminate critical comments from coaches, especially of game officials, like those that led to suspension for Clairton football coach Wayne Wade and Penn Hills boys basketball coach Dan DeRose.

The full text of the policy reads:

The WPIAL Board of Directors, in an attempt to ensure proper supervision after a contest and provide all coaches and student-athletes the opportunity to reflect on their team's performance and game outcome, is requesting the cooperation of ALL MEDIA to delay ALL INTERACTION with coaches and student-athletes immediately following the conclusion of all playoff contests. In venues where it is possible, a designated media area, as established by the WPIAL appointed Game Managers, will be provided for the purpose of post-game interviews in a more controlled environment. Where designated areas are not available the WPIAL Board is requesting that ALL INTERVIEWS ARE DELAYED for a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes following the conclusion of the event.

For this procedure to be effective, all coaches and media are asked to respect (observe) this request. The intent of this request is to allow for a “cooling off” and reflection period for coaches and student-athletes prior to addressing the media and to provide the media with more meaningful (objective) comments by coaches and student-athletes related to the contest. The WPIAL Board of Directors appreciates everyone's cooperation with this request (procedure).

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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