Washington School Board overturns Blystone decision
Mike Bosnic understood why the Washington School Board voted Friday to prohibit Zach Blystone from playing in its game against Mt. Pleasant, but that didn't make the news any easier to swallow.
“I respect the school's decision, and I respect so many of the people who had to make the tough decision,” Washington's football coach said. “But it's frustrating.
“What hurts me the most is this is hurting a kid.”
After the WPIAL and PIAA denied Blystone eligibility, the family obtained a temporary injunction, and Blystone, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound lineman, played in last week's 50-14 win at Brownsville.
With Thursday's hearing in front of Common Pleas Judge John F. DiSalle postponed until Tuesday, the plan was to play Blystone again, which the board voted in favor of doing during Monday's meeting.
But after consulting with solicitor Ken Baker and attorney T.J. Relich, both of Washington law firm Peacock Keller, the board voted 5-0 in favor of keeping Blystone from playing, fearful of possible PIAA penalties, including potential forfeiture of games in which Blystone played or Blystone losing eligibility for next year.
“For each and every one of those students on the team who have made incredible efforts this season, the risk of having all of that stripped away from them is too great,” said superintendent Dr. Roberta P. DiLorenzo, who admitted winning a case against the PIAA was not something the board felt confident it could do.
Blystone is accused of transferring from Charleroi to Washington with “athletic intent.” The family contends that's not true, that it was for the betterment of Zach's education and to be closer to his dad's job in a Claysville coal mine.
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 â 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.