Tuesday, October 29, 2002

A reader writes in relation to the Central Catholic incident blogged below:

The Central Catholic incident is topic number one on regular talk and sports talk radio. Central parents are calling the stations to whine about the Diocese decision to pull CC from the WPIAL football playoffs. The complaint is that the whole team is being punished for the actions of two students. The teammates that stonewalled school and diocesan officials were just being loyal to their mates (never mind that the boy hazed was a teammate). Therefore, why should the other 65 players, even though they knew about the incident , be punished?

Students at Central do have an honor code that includes the requirement to report any violations of the honor code. The football team failed to live up to the standards that Central has set for its students. Failure of witnesses (either eyewitnesses or those with second-hand information) to come foward with what they knew (and commit purgery under direct questioning) was dealt with properly by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. At some point, we need to say that wrong and any cover-up of a wrong will be punished. These whiny parents should look in a mirror and recite "I confess to Almighty God . . . all that I have done and all I have failed to do . . ."

An interesting fact coming out about the matter is that Central's administration did not tell parents about what was happening until it hit the newspapers last week. The school interview students without parents present. Of course once the police became involved, parents have to be present when minors are interviewed. If the school involved the parents from day one, the matter would have been resolved by day two.

I heard one parent on the radio claim that the punishment was so severe because of the Church's sex scandal. He claimed that the punishment would not have been as harsh (as if not playing a football game is harsh punishment) if the Church was not facing its own wider sex scandal.

Personally, I think the punishment is appropriate. Secondly, I believe (and it has been rumored on the radio) that the coach should lose his job. I also heard through the diocesan grapevine that the athletic director and principle are under scrutiny from the diocese for attempting to cover up the crime from the diocese.

Lesson to be learned: never attempt a cover up. If this incident was properly addressed in August, Central would be playing in the WPIAL playoffs this weekend.

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