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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
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McDowell, Mercyhurst Prep placed on probation

McDowell Senior High School was given four years of probation and Mercyhurst Preparatory School was placed on probation for one year during District 10 Committee hearings late Wednesday at Lake Shore Country Club.
McDowell’s penalties, which include public censures of six administrators, stem from the way a sports policy was handled regarding Collegiate Academy students living in Millcreek. Mercyhurst Prep was found to be in violation of two PIAA by-laws but was only given a penalty for one because of actions already taken by the administration.

Click here for the complete story and check Friday’s edition of the Erie Times-News for more.

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: District 10

17 Responses to McDowell, Mercyhurst Prep placed on probation

  1. MPSsoccerFan says:

    The allegations against Mercyhurst Prep are crazy. It is unbelievable to me how this whole rivalry between Fairview and Mercyhurst has come to a mud-slinging battle about off-field issues. Illegal recruiting in my understanding is providing objects and monetary incentives to attend a certain school. If simply saying “hey check out our school and soccer program” is illegal then multiple schools illegally recruited me. Also, on the taunting of the flag, I was in attendance at this game as a proud alumnus and the flag actually went unnoticed to many. The player wrapped a Mexican flag around his shoulders as he celebrated with his team. Other international players have done the same thing after beating my team. I have never seen it as insulting or taunting. Personally over the past couple of years this rivalry has become a dirty battle between the parents more than the teams. Instead of seeing it as a great display of youth soccer with kids either winning or losing a competitive battle. The emotional aspect of the rivalry has turned to pure hate and jealousy. A lot of people seem to forget that MPS is perpetually competitive due to its culture. The coaches and players and even parents understand the Mercyhurst Mission and employ it on the competitive stage. The players bring an attitude to every practice and game that is indescribable. They enjoy the game so much, and use that as fuel to work hard. It is unfortunate that other parties want to take away credibility from the players who work so hard. This is long but it needed to be said. Take the catty “he said, she said” stuff out of the rivalry and focus on playing hard and fair on the field.

  2. l says:

    It doesn’t matter how many people are doing it. If you break the rules you have to pay the consequences. In this case Mercyhurst broke the rules for recruiting, and they have been for years, so they have to pay. In my mind this is a very small punishment. I think they deserve worse. Mercyhurst will always be cheaters in my book.

  3. Fariview should be ashamed says:

    Fairview administrators, coaches, parents and players should be ashamed of themselves. The level of hate, discrimination and racial slurs thrown out last season by the Fairview students and parents as well as the players on the field. D10 officials, you must have had a representative at the D10 championship to witness the standing ovation by the Fairview parents and students when Jose Abdala was injured late in the game. Is that not taunting? In the regular season games Fairview players committed multiple intentional fouls and violent conduct during games which they should have be ejected for, one Fairview player was spitting on opponents, twice Fairview players grabbed MPS players by the arm, head and shirt spinning them around throwing them to the ground. These types of behavior are sporting? If you question the MPS behavior, review the yellow card count in the 3 matches last year, Fairview 5, MPS 0.
    Is unfair play and off season mudslinging the only way you feel you can be competitive?
    Be honest with yourselves and perhaps you should clean up your own house before accusing others.

  4. MercyhurstPrepcheaters says:

    Meryhurst Prep should be embrassed. They should be stripped of there D-10 title.

  5. JT says:

    The argument that “everyone does it” is juvenile. Some people speed while driving and don’t get caught – when someone does they can’t use the excuse, “hey everyone does it”. Mercyhurst Prep got busted for recruiting. The other claim went unfounded. Therefore, the only discussion is their recruiting. Shameful. And to get only 1 year probation….even more shameful.

  6. MPSsoccerFan says:

    See this is what I was saying. Everyone has this hatred for MPS just because they have become a soccer power. They should not and will not be ashamed for working harder than any other team in order to accomplish their goals. These foreign players come here to learn English and soccer is a way for them to do that. They come to Mercyhurst Prep rather than any other random high school because the high educational quality of the school itself. All neccessary transfer procedures were followed to allow this so I ask how MPS has been cheating for years as you say? The articles are unclear as to what exactly the illegal recruiting was. This is high school soccer, not a D1 or pro team. These are just kids playing for the love of the game. There passion and hard work is why they keep winning not any of this accusatory recruiting violations. The team that originally went to states had zero foreign players and very few club players. Fairview and the other schools have the same opportunities as MPS. Don’t sit there and complain about alleged (and false) cheating and work on your own soccer program and maybe, just maybe you can achieve the same thing.

  7. MPSsoccerFan says:

    My argument wasn’t that “everybody is doing it”. It was how asking a player who is looking at high schools to look at there school is considered illegal? Now that you say that Tom I know exactly which parent and kid made this bogus claim. We didn’t want him then, now or ever. We have 100 and some foreign students yet the five from Mexico seem to bother the losing Fairview team. If the beat MPS they wouldn’t have complained.

  8. Wayne's Plugs says:

    MPS works harder? They do less in the off season than other local programs that actually have to produce their own talent. MPS just waits and brings in 3-4 foreign players…conveniently in just the right positions.
    -
    MPS for the education? Uh, no. These kids go to MPS because Pedro’s brother is the principal at the school where the kids are coming from and they conveniently stayed at FF where Pedro worked.
    -
    I don’t think its too much to ask to have a level playing field that does not involve bringing in players from other countries to compete at the Single-A soccer level.

  9. Joe Kavlick says:

    It’s a shame it even got to this point. I assume D10 would not levy such a penalty against Mercyhurst unless they saw a clear violation of one or more of their by-laws? If there is not a clear violation, I hope Mercyhurst Administration does appeal…….With that assumption being correct, I suggest D10 needs to re-evaluate their by-laws…or be prepared to levy similar or more severe penalties to many more schools/teams within the District…and then lobby other district’s throughout Pennsylvania (and then other States throughout the USA) to enforce these by-laws in a similar fashion. This outcome has the potential to pose a monumental precedence for the D10 and other Districts into the future. I think it’s hard to argue that there is no difference in a school/coach convincing a student/family from another country, another district, or from the public system to the private system that their school/team is a better option for them…..this happens regularly for academic and athletic reasons, and in my opinion is a healthy activity from an academic and athletic prospective. It motivates our schools (and their athletic departments) to perform and produce. Good luck to D10 in figuring this one out…they need to get it right for many reasons.

  10. Tom Reisenweber says:

    Joe,
    I agree. This decision could open District 10 to numerous hearings now that they have set this precedent. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out. My problem with the PIAA bylaws is the ambiguity in the language. What exactly is recruiting? Is it mentioning your program to a student? Do you have to offer something? There are many questions regarding the definition of recruiting.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  11. Soccer parent for life says:

    This whole situation of Mercyhurst/Fairview and the PIAA ruling has turned a tense rivalry into a horrendous nightmare, all because one “unidentified parent” screamed and cried long and loud to basically wear down the PIAA board to issue one year probation on MPS, just to shut him up. Well I hope Mr. Unidentified Parent is happy because nothing good will come out of this; he’s created a monster of hate between two schools that will surely affect their matches in years to come and it didn’t change the fact that you didn’t get your dream of going to Hershey. Mr. Unidentified has failed to see the whole picture: that the world does not revolve around him and his senior son alone. There are hundreds of athletes from all schools that have the dream of going to the states and unfortunately, the majority of athletes do not get there. Sure, it’s disappointing and it would be awesome if every player had the chance, but that’s not what it’s all about. It about enjoying the sport and creating memories that will last a life time. I did not pick a high school for my son to attend because of their win/loss record; I picked a school where I knew my son would get an excellent education and enjoy the sport. And don’t think I don’t know how losing feels because I’ve been there many of times. My son was on a school team where they celebrated just to get a tie game. I too was frustrated and resented the powerhouse, “made to win teams,” but I did not nitpick and go running to the board to file a ludicrous claim. I sucked it up and moved on, remembering that my son and his team had good memories. I am disappointed with Fairview Administration and the coach supporting this guy’s claim and for showing some obvious racism. I am disappointed with PIAA board, for allowing hearsay from Mr. Unidentified to be admissible in making their decision in imposing one year probation on MPS, without giving them a chance for a rebuttal. PIAA’s weakness will surely add fuel to the Fairview parents, players, and coaches to be even ruder at sport events and encourage them to look for anything, true or not, and go running back to PIAA to file another bogus claim. MPS by all rights should appeal this decision and stop the Fairview madness before it gets worse and ruins the whole sports program. Shame on Fairview Administration, parents, coaches, and PIAA Board members; you need to grow up and let the kids play.

  12. JT says:

    One parent did not issue this ruling. One parent may have complained but D10 did what they seem very reluctant to do – put a school on probation. They must have had clear cut evidence. But as Tom mentioned it will be interesting to see if MP appeals and if so, what comes of it.

    When private schools win and a public school complains the argument of then “Work harder” always comes up from private school supporters. That is a joke. I would venture a guess that alot of public school coaches work just as hard. And when you are in charge of a sports program in grades K-12 (and not just 9-12) then you are certainly working as hard or harder than many coaches who only oversee a HS program.

  13. Soccer Mom says:

    The comment with regards to Pedro’s brother being the principal at the school in Mexico in which these students come cannot be farther from the truth. He has only one brother and I know for a fact that he is a professor at a local university that my child attends. I can only imagine that with a name like Argaez in Mexico that there are several individuals with that last name and they are not even close to being related. Please get your facts confirmed before posting false information.

  14. AW says:

    Wayne hit it on the head. Other programs
    build their soccer players thru travel soccer
    and have to work with what they got. It’s up
    to the coach to teach them. Let MP work with
    only Erie kids, and see how many titles they
    win without foreign recruited players. Then
    I will give them the credit they deserve.

  15. Tom Reisenweber says:

    AW,
    I think what is lost in all of this is MP did win D-10 and go to the PIAA championship last year without foreign players.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  16. easy solution says:

    There is an easy solution to this problem, Make all private schools play in their own playoff system or at the highest classification level. right or wrong they do have an unfair advantage over public schools. they get to pick and chose what students are accepted, where public schools are limited to students in their districts.

  17. Tom Reisenweber says:

    The non-easy solution to that theory is the PIAA has tried this before years ago and found themselves in a lawsuit with the Catholic schools.

    –Tom

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