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OHSAA rules against Mooney



Published: Fri, June 14, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Cardinal Mooney freshman football coach has left his job. Two incoming freshmen may have lost a year of eligibility. And Cardinal Mooney disagrees with the Ohio High School Athletic Association on a couple key facts related to a recruiting investigation.

The penalties stem from a dinner, hosted by a Cardinal Mooney coach a few months ago, that two Struthers eighth graders attended concerning “their possible matriculation to Mooney,” according to a statement released by the OHSAA on Thursday morning.

OHSAA commissioner Dr. Dan Ross ruled that the students will be ineligible to play sports at Mooney for one year from their date of enrollment should they choose to enroll as freshmen in 2013-14.

OHSAA bylaw 4-9-4 prohibits coaches from “having any contact with prospective student-athletes, except as permitted, who are not presently enrolled in the school’s educational program, or their parents, prior to written acceptance notification.”

One of the students has since been accepted to Mooney. The OHSAA is investigating allegations that the other student continues to receive text messages from another Mooney coach.

Both student-athletes are “above-average” football players, according to a source familiar with the situation. One is a lineman and the other is a skill position player, the source said.

Randy Rair, assistant superintendent for the Youngstown Diocese, said the school conducted an internal investigation and found no evidence of improper texting.

“We investigated that pretty thoroughly,” he said of the texting allegations.

As for the dinner, Rair claims it was attended by just one student — the one accepted for enrollment — as well as his family and that Mooney self-reported the violation. Rair said the Mooney coach “acted on his own.”

Neither Rair nor the OHSAA would identify the coach. One freshman coach, Paul Mahin, left Mooney’s program in mid-February, around the time of the dinner. When reached by phone Thursday night, Mahin declined comment except to say he did not resign over the allegations.

“Our schools are members of the OHSAA and we want to follow the rules,” Rair said. “As soon as we were notified [of the meal], we self-reported it and asked the OHSAA to investigate.”

Struthers superintendent Joseph Nohra said his school was notified of the violation by Mooney and the Youngstown Diocese, not by the OHSAA.

“We didn’t go looking for this,” Nohra said. “We didn’t go running to the OHSAA. From our viewpoint, we felt it was a situation we should turn over to our sister school [Mooney] and work with them closely on the issue.

“We have a lot of compassion for our students and our families and this is an unfortunate situation.”

Neither Mooney football coach P.J. Fecko nor athletic director Don Bucci returned messages seeking comment.

Nick Wolsonovish, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Youngstown, said the school has worked collaboratively with the OHSAA for months and that the Diocese is still investigating the situation.

“One of the things we want to emphasize is that we are a member of the OHSAA and we are committed to following their rules and regulations and try to collaborate and cooperate with the OHSAA on every single incident,” he said.

Vindicator reporter Denise Dick contributed to this report.


Comments

1arod(259 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Of course Mooney DISAGREES on the ruling of RECRUITING. It's been happening for a long time and it's not going to change anytime soon.

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2kensgirl(571 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

All schools recruit. Mooney just happened to get caught.

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3YtownSports(216 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Parochials are an easy target for recruiting charges...often of their own making. However, now with so many districts offering open enrollment, public schools...which have often had suspicious transfers...will now have the same "recruiting" opportunities and should come under the same scrutiny.

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4Cubbies(37 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The Mooney lovers continue to deny the facts. You've been recruiting for decades and you know it. Again you shout this is "much ado about nothing"...just like your booze and cigars on campus after another tainted state title

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5stan_smagala(56 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The writer has a slobbering love affair with Mooney.

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6stan_smagala(56 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Further proof of said slobbering love affair follows. The second paragraph contradicts the first. The first clearly states that Mooney notified Struthers of the violation. The second supports what Mr. Nohra stated on TV last night. Struthers reported the violation to Mooney, who in turn was compelled to go to the OHSAA. Scalzo and Krispinsky are trying to spin it that Mooney was somehow magnanimous.

Read these two paragraphs and determine for yourself.

"Struthers superintendent Joseph Nohra said his school was notified of the violation by Mooney and the Youngstown Diocese, not by the OHSAA."

"'We didn’t go looking for this,' Nohra said. “We didn’t go running to the OHSAA. From our viewpoint, we felt it was a situation we should turn over to our sister school [Mooney] and work with them closely on the issue."

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7GoPens(397 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Instead of the kids being banned from playing for a year, how about the Mooney program be shut down for a year?

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8123goz(512 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

According to WKBN, Nora heard rumors about the dinner and called Mooney out on them.
Mooney started the investigation and then notified Nora of the outcome is how I read it.

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9123goz(512 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I can't say CMHS recruits, but it sure is a coincidence they have college level (size wise) O and D lines. And some skill players like that too.
Maybe those big kids want to play where they think they will win and stand out.
6-6 275 on a loser may not get many headlines.

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10lumper(281 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

do you really think the head coach doesn't know who his coaches are meeting with ?

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11olddude(196 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Heck ya Lumper...Obama apparently doesnt have any idea what his assistant coaches are doing in DC, so why is it so hard to believe The Mooney coach didnt know a thing... Probably read it in the paper, just like in DC...

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12chiro(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

You are exactly right taxme! The two kids in this situation are getting punished for this. Two kids that want to have that chance of playing for mooney in which in turn betters their chance of being recruited to a big time college. It sounds like these two kids are pretty talented and what kid with talent would not want to play for a program like mooney!
There is not a team out there that does not want the best talent and will do whatever it takes to get it. Let the kids play wherever they want to play!
I do not live in the mahoning valley anymore but where I do live when you tell people you are from youngstown, ohio they know about Cardinal mooney and Ursuline football! I I were in these kids shoes I would want to play for one of these schools also. They are the ones getting looked at by college recruits every week. Who wouldn't want that chance! If it is really about the kids let them play where they want to play and give them a chance to be looked at by some big time colleges which is a dream for most of these young men to play at the next level.

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13TonyRizzo(82 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Mooney has been recruiting football players for years and years.
They only follow the OHSAA when it fits their needs.
Who was going to pay these kids ways to play football at Mooney?
Not them or their parents.
Stop the free money free tuition and the all these players will have no way to afford the tuition to play.
Dry the money up and that will stop Mooney's recruiting.
That's the bottom line.
Cheaters never change their spots and Mooney will never stop their cheating ways.

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