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Mercyhurst Prep forfeits baseball title

Mercyhurst Preparatory School has forfeited its District 10 Class A baseball championship.

The Lakers violated a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association bylaw this past week by having postgraduate players pitch to current players during practice. According to Section 1B of the PIAA bylaws, which was enacted July 24, 2009, “no person who has graduated or withdrawn from high school is eligible to participate in Practices, Inter-School Practices, Scrimmages, and/or Contests.”

Mercyhurst Prep admitted to using three graduated players in practice before playing Conneaut Lake High School in the District 10 Class A semifinals. The Lakers won 15-4, then defeated West Middlesex Area High School 1-0 Monday in the District 10 championship.

District 10 baseball director Harry Rafle contacted Mercyhurst Prep after an article was published Saturday in the Erie Times-News in which Mercyhurst admitted to using former players in practice.

Mercyhurst Prep offered the forfeit to West Middlesex. West Middlesex will represent District 10 in the PIAA Class A playoffs Monday at Slippery Rock University.

Coach Randy Durkoske declined to comment today.

It is unclear if Mercyhurst Prep has forfeited both playoff wins or only the District 10 championship game.

Mercyhurst Prep was placed on probation by District 10 this spring for one year after violating recruiting regulations with its boys soccer program,

See Wednesday’s Erie Times-News and for more.

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, District 10

72 Responses to Mercyhurst Prep forfeits baseball title

  1. PghDad says:

    I believe the intent of the rule is to ultimately keep the kids safe. Coaches need to have state child abuse and criminal history clearances. Allowing “just anyone” to stop by and hang out with a bunch of minor students invites trouble. If a student athlete is injured while practicing with anyone who is not a part of the team or the coaching staff also puts the school itself at a huge liability. Is it only a stupid rule because MP got caught breaking it? Is the message MP sends to its students that it is OK to break rules that they deam unworthy of them? They got caught. I find it hard to believe that the coach didn’t know the rule, but the responsibilty lies with the AD to keep the coaches informed of all PIAA by laws and a school that is on probation should be paying very close attention to the by laws.

  2. critter83 says:

    I can see it now..this fall there is going to be so many heads rolling…every program is going to be spying and taking pictures to get that win….LOL Coaches better be on thier toes ,I have a feeling We are just hearing the beginning of this story!

  3. So obvious says:

    I have no doubt nothing was done sooner because it was a holiday weekend and the D10 baseball official in charge didn’t want to be bothered. Confused said it best “make yourself available to handle issues as they arrive”. He didn’t and maybe its time for Raffle to step down and let someone else in who will put more effort into the whole tournament.

  4. Casper says:

    haha ban. You sound so ignorant. There are teams that are doing it by the rules. They have these alumni on the volunteering coaching list and they have their clearances on file in the admin office. These are the coaches who actually care more about their players and aren’t willing to lose a game to a stupid rule.

    So as you said “they are the one’s who don’t give a crap,” I think you have it backwards. Your MP coaches obviously didn’t care enough to go about things the right way, so that shows they don’t care about their players. So in your words, coaches that do it your way are the smucks.

  5. JT says:

    I think PGH Dad is correct. The intent is safety. There have been 2 instances in the past where HS kids were hurt – one occurred when a college wrestler came back to practice (and help) with the HS team and a HS wrestler was injured. Another happened in a summer bball league when a college kid landed a punch on a HS kid (these are just a few instances).

    It’s easy to point the finger at WM. But it seems apparent that D10 told WM to play first then protest. You can’t really protest a game that hasn’t been played. Clearly MP violated the rule. Here is where the blame should be placed. I would love to know if the coach was aware of the rule or not? If so, he should be canned. If not, then the AD and principal need to answer to their student athletes. That’s a shame if so.

    I asked a few local coaches if they were aware of the rule – one coaches basketball and he said yes he knew of it two years ago when his AD and Principal told all coaches to cease using former grads. Everyone in the gym has to be board approved w/clearances. And former students approved as “coaches” does not mean they are allowed to practice against the team.

    The rule stinks for current teams. But unfortunatley it has led to injuries. It’s the job of the PIAA to protect its student athletes.

  6. bob says:

    your right some coaches and ad’s are aware but still break it! i know of 4 schools who have..its not just baseball!! its all sports!! and you can play a game under protest before the start!

  7. LMOC says:

    Looks like the WM coach followed correct procedure, but D10 officials could/should have been quicker on the draw. This rule may be unpopular, but has legitimate reasoning (safety and liability). The phrase I haven’t seen here is what the NCAA calls ‘institutional oversight’, and is what D10 should evaluate as it relates to MP. It’s possible that MP is doing the same things as other schools, and just happened to run into a streak of bad luck. If so, I expect other schools to get caught in the same way in the near future. If not, refer back to the institutional oversight – AD, principal, board of trustees, etc. See if there is a problem there.

  8. Rowe says:

    I know for a fact that other schools around the area do the same exact thing from talking to friends that play for these schools. And in this situation does the punishment really fit the crime? Its not like the coaching staff was spying on West Middlesex practice. Its not like the Mercyhurst alumni were playing the games for them. MErcyhurst was the better team and they proved that by winning 15-4 and 1-0. And if any game should have been forfeited it should have been the Conneat Lake game not the West middlesex game because no alumni came to practice after the Conneat Lake game.
    Sad for the players to know they won but have it taken away. For West Middlesex, how can you accept the title after you lost on the field?

  9. Bob says:

    West Middlesex didn’t make the rules and doesn’t enforce the rules, blaming them for anything in this matter is off base.

  10. JT says:

    Blaming WM in anyway is nonsense.

    Some people speed while driving and get caught. Some speed and don’t get caught. So the folks who do can’t go into court and say, “hey everyone does it” therefore i’m innocent. That’s not how it works.

    MP has to own up to the fact they violated a rule. They got caught. It also should put more people on alert to the subject.

  11. billy says:

    well ladies and gents…rumor has it cl had a player at there practice! ummmmm!!! why dont you think they filed appeal?? and wm just capatilzed on was win win for him…he knew that mh threw themselves under the bus! why not wait to play the game and protest.. cuz he nothing to lose! like some1 said b4 ..if they win do they say anything? no…so i say.. if you didnt win you shouldnt say anything! remember that rule exists to protect kids and piaa from beening hurt! which happened 4 yrs ago.

  12. GBQ says:

    The bottom line—The MPS AD did not do his job in this case or in the soccer recruiting violation. Even with MPS being on probation, more PIAA rules were broken. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. The AD is responsible, incompetent, and needs to be terminated. Amazingly the AD also happens to be the varsity girls basketball coach—he needs to be terminated or resign from both positions to give MPS a fresh start.

  13. tmj says:

    Today’s article in the Erie Times by Bob Jarzomski sums up this situation very well, and it’s not because it’s an Erie team it’s because it makes sense.

  14. Dan says:

    I agree with tmj………read the article!!!

  15. Trailstrider says:

    To sum up the article in case anyone hasn’t read it, it said, “Mercyhurst Prep is the true District 10 champion because they won the game on the field, even though they cheated.”

  16. CG says:

    MP didn’t cheat at anything! They won that game because they played their best. Both teams played great.It,s just a shame that Wm coach had to take something good and destroy it.He not only hurt MP but his own team because now his team is known as the one if they don,t win they,ll protest.I see this as a great injustice to both teams.

  17. Papa says:

    WestMiddlesex Lost yesterday let’ see if they Protest!!!

  18. C'mon Man says:

    First MP gets a year probation for illegally recruiting kids from other schools (amongst other things), and now this. I guess they don’t feel like they can win on their own and need to find any edge they can. It’s too bad because they have a good team. Now they will be remembered for this incident. The thing is, if they didn’t forfeit that game, they would have faced additional sanctions from PIAA. Just follow the rules!

  19. Nana says:

    Dear Papa – Won’t be a protest because the team they played FOLLOWED THE RULES!

  20. MPS Fan says:

    Since when is it cheating to try and better yourself by working with athletes that are better and more experienced than you are. Thats how YOU become a better player. “You are only as good as your competion”. Why do you think everyone travels south in the spring? To play teams that are better, that’s not cheating. Would it have been a PIAA violation if they had been pitching to those boys in their own backyard? Every team is looking for that edge, it’s called competition.

  21. M says:

    Its happened before Perfetto had college basketball players working with his girls before a state game, it was on one of the local TV stations.

  22. C'mon Man says:

    It’s fine to look for that edge as long as you do it within the rules outlined. This is what MP didn’t do.

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