Police Chief: 'This Is Just the Beginning'

Peters Township police Chief Harry Fruecht said his department needs time to sort through materials regarding accusations made against high school head football coach Rich Piccinini.

 the  football program after receiving a complaint Wednesday from the county's Children and Youth Services Department. 

Police Chief Harry Fruecht launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from CYS that "an alleged perpetrator is permitting children to play sports with concussions or concussion-like symptoms."

"We're reviewing materials, and gathering knowledge and documents to make reason for this investigation," he said.

Last week, the  renewed high school head football coach 's 2012-13 contract in a 6-3 vote. ; an email between and Superintendent Nina Zetty circulated to all parents involved in the football program the week prior.

The email is being investigated although it is simply accusational, Fruecht said.

Mortland told the Post-Gazette Thursday, the coach undermined athletic trainers who were treating players with concussions, broken bones and other injuries.

Peters Township School District spokeswoman Shelly Belcher told Patch that Zetty has gathered the materials related to the investigation and they are being sent over to Peters police this afternooon.

Chief Fruecht said he plans to interview athletic trainers and athletic director Brian Geyer. He also said his department needs time to sort through materials.

"This is just the beginning," he said.

Piccinini couldn't be reached for comment. Stay tuned to Peters Patch for developing details.

Frank Cararie January 27, 2012 at 01:05 AM
This type of abuse has been going on in Peters Township for quite some time and involves youth athletes as well. I used to coach youth athletics in Peters Township and witnessed it first hand. Thanks to Kenny Thomas, a youth player ("Matty") will probably never be able to pitch another baseball game again! Mr. Thomas would not think twice about having kids pitch beyond their limits just to win a game! And god for bid don't even try bringing up your concerns to the board members at the meetings. He and all his buddies are on the board and they will have you black-balled! It's sad but thats what goes on in Peters Township youth athletics!
Roger January 27, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Frank, if your assertions are correct (no reason to think otherwise), why were the parents permitting their youth to participate? In reading the other pieces, the finger is pointed at somebody, or some entity. The parents hold ALL the cards on these matters. If the youth is unfit for playing, where was the parent? All these assertions make no sense.
Lebowski January 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Parents have the ultimate responsibilty but that does not relieve the coaches or the Rec Board from their obligation to also act responsible. The Rec Board needs to set the tone about youth sports, but does nothing but spout platitudes. hey should be replaced
Roger January 27, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Lebowski, NO, NO, NO, ... the Rec Board are not the ones to set the tone. This is the heart of the problem. The parents are the ones to make the decisions, not the Rec Board. So many posts associated with this issue makes the parents' decisions in the playing time, ready to play or not, etc. seem lame. Are the parents wimps in wanting to shoulder the responsibility for the decisions? It is beginning to sound that way.
Mike February 01, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Let's keep 2 distinct from being mixed up - Rec Baseball is a problem within itself with people running it and coaching it that know nothing about baseball and only care about winning at all costs - the simple fact about Rec Ball is that it is so poorly run the very outstanding High School coach has nothing to do with it and that says it all. Now for the real issue on the football team and concussions...how come everything has been behind closed doors, why not bring everyone in a room (trainers, coaches, parents, student-athletes, superintendent, school board) and discuss what really happened. That will never happen because our school board is not transparent - Parents....we vote them in and we sure can vote them out...it is not up to the police...it is up to us to make a difference...what is more important, your children's health or your stature in snobby Peters Township


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