No punishment for Mo Valley, Williamsburg

No disciplinary action will be taken against the Moshannon Valley or Williamsburg High School athletic programs by PIAA District 6 following a fight that led to the premature stoppage of a boys basketball game between the schools on Jan. 24, according to district chairman Dave Crumrine.

Both schools spoke before the District 6 committee at its meeting in Hollidaysburg on Wednesday afternoon.

“The committee heard both sides, heard what they had done and then voted to accept their actions on behalf of sportsmanship before, during and after this unfortunate incident,” Crumrine said.

In addition to the presentations by the schools, video clips of the incident were shown.

Officials Dave Adams, Eugene Parker and Frank Swalga decided to call the game at Monte Close Gymnasium – won by visiting Williamsburg, 64-48 – with 12.4 seconds left after benches cleared when a Mo Valley player struck a Blue Pirate player, according to multiple sources. The Black Knight player was ejected, as was a Williamsburg player moments earlier when he committed an intentional foul at midcourt.

Afterwards, fans from both teams reportedly came toward the court in a confrontational manner, and the Williamsburg team was escorted to its bus by security.

Both programs could have been subject to further discipline. Mo Valley had been on probation following a number of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls during a District 6 football playoff game in November of 2011, and, while the school had served out its term without further incident, District 6 officials said that incident could have been taken under consideration this time around.

However, Crumrine said he and the rest of the committee were satisfied with the actions taken both at the game and afterwards, and, in Mo Valley’s case, how it responded to being placed on probation two years ago – the school installed a sportsmanship program that was approved by District 6.

“We looked at what they said they were going to do and what they have been doing to try to instill a culture of sportsmanship,” Crumrine said of Mo Valley.

According to a Moshannon Valley school source, the player that had thrown the punch had been dismissed from the team. Crumrine would not confirm that or any other discipline against the players involved.

Mo Valley athletic director Tom Perry declined comment, referring any questions to Moshannon Valley superintendent Tonya DeVecchis-Kerr. A message left at the home of Williamsburg AD Debbie Appleman was unreturned.

District 6 officials chair Mike Hudak said he was compelled by the schools’ handling of the situation.

“Both schools took the matter very seriously, and they completed a thorough investigation at both schools. They were very detailed in what they presented to us, and they took prompt action,” Hudak said. “They had individual interviews with all the players, which told me they were taking the matter very seriously. I was impressed by that and that they accepted responsibility for it and took prompt action. They took acceptable, appropriate action.

“All that made me believe they were going to do whatever they can to make sure that never happens again at either place.”

None of the officials were present at Wednesday’s meeting, and Hudak said no action would be taken against them, either.

“We made the determination that they took appropriate action by stopping the game,” Hudak said. “It was probably the right thing to do in that situation to avoid something else happening.”

Crumrine said he felt the matter now was closed and didn’t anticipate it being revisited.

“This incident,” Crumrine said, “the committee believes, was handled.”