The Post-Gazette is reporting that Peters police are investigating the Peters Township High School football program after receiving a complaint Wednesday from the county's Children and Youth Services Department.
Chief Fruecht told the newspaper his department launched an investigation yesterday after receiving a complaint from CYS that "an alleged perpetrator is permitting children to play sports with concussions or concussion-like symptoms."
Last week, the Peters Township School Board renewed Piccinini's 2012-13 contract in a 6-3 vote. Parents voiced their concerns at the podium; an email circulated to all parents involved in the program the week prior.
A lengthy exchange, forwarded to Peters Patch—between Mark Mortland of Mortland Physical Therapy and district Superintendent Nina Zetty—discussed alleged claims of injured players being forced to play and alleged verbal abuse by Piccinini.
Mortland, who's provided athletic training to the district since 2003, wrote, “What I personally witnessed was the most deplorable, disrespectful and disgraceful behavior from a head coach in any sport I have ever seen. I have been providing athletic training services to high schools, college and professional sporting teams for 25 years and have never seen anything like this year’s head football coach.”
Zetty replied saying she immediately took the issue to Athletic Director Brian Geyer and high school Principal Lori Pavlik following Mortland’s first email sent Nov. 30.
Zetty also said Mortland’s accusations are, “in some cases, second-hand” and she questioned why he waited until the season was over to report the claims.
In Thursday's Post-Gazette, Mortland called into question Piccinini's judgment, saying the coach undermined athletic trainers who were treating players with concussions, broken bones and other injuries.
Chief Fruecht told the paper his department also will interview athletic trainers and Geyer.
Editor's Note: Fruecht, Zetty nor Piccinini could be reached for comment immediately. Check back with Peters Patch for more details.
Recap last week's school board meeting here.