Peters Police Investigating Football Program

Documents are being turned over to Chief Harry Fruecht's office regarding accusations against high school head football coach Rich Piccinini.

The Post-Gazette is reporting that are investigating the 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 renewed Piccinini's 2012-13 contract in a 6-3 vote. ; an email circulated to all parents involved in the program the week prior.

A lengthy exchange, forwarded to Peters Patch—between Mark Mortland of  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 . 

PT fan January 27, 2012 at 06:03 PM
It interesting all the comments are about the football program and the coaches. Mortland is the person who is stirring the pot and is a hypocrite! His personal and professional life is marked by behavior that is "deplorable, disrepectful and disgraceful" his quote about the PT program. Look in the mirror Mark!
Andrea Bosco January 29, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Hi everyone, just a friendly reminder: Patch believes in transparency, and we ask that all your registration information be truthful. You may not use any aliases or other means to mask your true identity. Read our full Terms of Use here: http://peters.patch.com/terms. Thanks, as always, for your readership!
Anthony Brown January 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Andrea- Interpret that please for those of us operating at minimum capacity. For instance, above you will see posts from - PTfan, Lebowski, Tom, etc.. Are you saying that as long as you register under that "name"- you are OK ? OR- do you need to register and post under your true legal name ? I can see how some would not want to do that and hence, hinder discussion.
Andrea Bosco January 30, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Anthony, Patch encourages people to register under their own names and use their true identity while posting. Knowing who is posting allows for a more truthful conversation in comments.
Anthony Brown January 30, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Still lost- you said: "You may not use any aliases or other means to mask your true identity. " I agree with your reply above in regards to truth- but now you are saying "encourages". I am more in the dark on the policy at this point than when I started.


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