UPDATE: Who has PIAA oversight? Senator Yaw explains

In our continuing coverage of the recent controversy of a player transferring from Virginia to Pennsylvania and subsequently playing in PIAA post season games I reached out to the State Senator for Lycoming and surrounding counties, the Honorable Gene Yaw and received the following responses to my questions.

Senator Yaw:
Would you be kind enough to clarify for folks if the state government (Senate/House/Governor) has any oversight of the PIAA?

Sent on Behalf of Senator Yaw:


The state Legislature has no direct authority over the PIAA.

However, there IS an Athletic Oversight Committee created by the Legislature in 2005 as the result of recommendations made by the previous Oversight Council, which was disbanded in 2004.

The Committee is composed of three House members and three Senators. The Committee is required to meet once a year for the purpose of reviewing the PA Interscholastic Athletic Association compliance with Act 91 of 2000, responding to issues related to the activities of the Association and to issue an annual report of its findings to the presiding officers in both the Senate and House.

Secondly, with the most recent transfer of a student from out of state to a private school in Philadelphia, who is now playing on a post-season roster having competed in another state; is there anything the state government will be doing to address this?

With regards to the transfer student, I’m not sure if this issue is being discussed before the Committee, though a legislative approach may be warranted (I’d be surprised if it hasn’t already been discussed in the past.), but I’m told the Committee is working on a non-legislative solution to boundary v. non-boundary schools and championships.

Finally, are you hearing from public schools about leaving the PIAA to form their own governing body if these types of situations continue to occur and go unchecked?

Senator Yaw has not heard from public schools about leaving the PIAA.

Thank you again for your answers to these questions of public concern throughout the Commonwealth.

Todd Bartley

Managing Member

FOX SPORTS 92.7 FM & 1050 AM

OPINION: If you think the PIAA is broken, it’s worse

As I wrote earlier this week in this forum that “the PIAA has an illness” so many people have weighed in with me and some interesting information has come to light since the article was published.
The PIAA compliance office was contacted for this story and did not return a call.
Let us begin with the fundamentals.
It is unconscionable that a school or any of its employees would subvert the high purposes of interscholastic athletics by condoning any violation of the rules. To involve boys or girls in any practice or procedure which “gets around the rules” is unworthy of a person associated with athletics
The references that follow are from the PIAA Handbook readily available at PIAA.ORG.
The crux of this case hinges on something that apparently has been overlooked by numerous administrators. This particular PIAA By-Laws reference is why the mid-year transfer rule becomes a moot point (if it is applied).
Page 25 Section IX
Section 5. Eligibility of Students for Championship Contests.
A student who participates as an individual or as a member of a Team in a sport in an athletic program other than that of the student’s school, who is enrolled or otherwise eligible at a school having a Team in that sport, is ineligible to participate in the District or Inter-District Championship Contests in that sport unless the student has been in uniform and available to participate as a member of the student’s school Team in that sport for at least 75% of the Contests occurring within the period of time beginning with that Team’s first Regular Season Contest and ending with its last Regular Season Contest. Where the failure to meet the 75% requirement results, in part, from reasons other than participation on the non-school Team, the Principal may waive such absences, provided that the student
was otherwise in uniform and available to participate in at least 50% of the total number of the Team’s Regular Season Contests.
With regard to Practices for the period of time beginning with the Team’s first Contest and ending with its last Contest of the Regular Season, the Principal of each school must determine whether Practice in the athletic program other than that of the student’s school meets the Practice requirements of that school. If it does not, the student is ineligible to participate in the District or Inter-District Championship Contests in that sport.
Based upon this rule, even a reasonable person can come to the conclusion that the student-athlete in question must be ruled ineligible to compete.
If you are new to this story a quick review is as follows, Neumann-Goretti had a recent transfer student from Hampton, Virginia play in the PIAA second round girls basketball game against Loyalsock after making her debut in the first round against Pine Grove.
The circumstances surrounding her transfer relate to a family matter that no one is willing to discuss. Let me be the first to ask the question, why is the student athlete in question reportedly going back to Virginia this summer to play on an Elite AAU team? The PIAA Bylaws also address prior summer behavior and participation which also bolsters the ineligibility argument.
Let me also be the first to ask, why on the PIAA transfer form does it first reference that academics must be the motivating factor and not athletics and ability to play?
Does it matter that the student athlete in question averaged 30 points per game last year as a freshman and nearly 25 points per game this year in Virginia and is averaging double figures through three PIAA playoff games?
Remember, the student athlete in question transferred to better the educational opportunities as a Philadelphia native not to a public school but to a private school. The acceptance letter to said private school was reportedly received within the past few weeks.
On that note, I received a letter from a Neumann-Goretti girls basketball parent after the first article and the letter eloquently hammered home one of the many points in my argument about a broken PIAA system.
From the original article, “However, how many of those players actually reside within the normal geographic boundaries for a school district?”
From the parent letter, “You may not be aware, but Neumann-Goretti is a private, Catholic school and as such, your comment regarding “normal geographic boundaries for a school district” is not applicable. Geographic boundaries apply to public schools, not private Catholic schools.”
From the written words of a parent from a private school to every single public school parent in not only Pennsylvania, but Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and the rest of the world this parent basically says no one can stop us and we don’t care what you think. This is the chilling impact referenced in the first article.
The letter also concluded with a final paragraph that began, “In conclusion, Neumann-Goretti will never apologize for kicking Loyalsock’s butt all over the court.”
Way to win with class private school parent.
In regard to the PIAA and the stunning lack of leadership it continues to display, from a Reading Eagle article on October 8, 2015, “PIAA votes to expand football to six classes, “Instead, the board waved a third reading and approved expansion in those sports by a 23-7 margin.”
In 2015, the PIAA waived a third reading to get to six classes from four. As you will read below, what the leadership reportedly did in 2017 with the single biggest competitive balance issue facing this state; they are waiting a full year for it to be codified and that decision has now come back to haunt them. Instead of codifying a significant piece of competitive balance legislation, they deferred. Did I mention the hardship loophole that will undoubtedly follow this worthless attempt at doing something?
In speaking with any number of public school administrators throughout Pennsylvania over the past eleven years and in recent days, this single situation will be cited as the mechanism for ALL of the public schools to leave the PIAA and form a new association.
How did the student athlete in question get cleared to play?
Bob Greenburg, Sports Director of WPIC-AM 790 in Sharon, Pennsylvania and long time broadcaster of District 10 Athletics reached out to District 12 leadership and received the following e-mail from Joe Sette, of Archbishop Wood this past Friday:
In the case that you are referring to, both Principals (Hampton Phoebus and Neumann-Goretti) signed off on Section 4A on her transfer waiver form. The District XII Committee intervened and requested a hearing to investigate the matter and to determine the student’s eligibility. The student enrolled at Neumann Goretti on or about 2/12/18 and the District XII hearing was scheduled for 3/5/18. Henceforth, she was not eligible to participate in both the Phila. Catholic League Playoffs and the District XII Tournament.
In the hearing we listened to the reasons for leaving the school in Virginia and re-enrolling in a school in Philadelphia. We found out that the student was a native Philadelphian and left for Virginia when she was eleven years old. She returned to Philadelphia due to a private family matter which I cannot divulge to you.  After listening to all of the witnesses involved and the collaborating evidence the District XII Committee went into deliberations.
We discussed in much detail the pros and cons of the case and as always consulted the P.I.A.A constitution in detail as to where we would stand legally with our final decision. Our decision was that we could not legally refuse her eligibility under the current constitution and therefore declared her eligible as of 3/5/18. We knew that this would cause an uproar in our District and beyond but we felt that this was the correct legal decision.
To address situations like this the PIAA Board of Directors are now in the process of amending the P.I.A.A. constitution “to address in-season transfers.” The amendment is on schedule to go into effect starting on July 1, 2018 once we approve the final readings. Basically it will address “the in-season transfers,” by requiring any student athlete not eligible to participate in any competition for that sport that he/she is currently playing, for 21 calendar days or until the District Committee can convene a hearing on that student. In addition, if “that student has been eligible to participate in 50 % of the sport’s season or the season has ended for that sport, he/she will not be eligible for participation in that specific sport for the remainder of the P.I.A.A. season.”
Hopefully this new rule will curtail “in-season transfers.”
Did the Disctric XII Committee completely miss the section referenced above in the existing PIAA Handbook and deferred to a proposed piece of legislation?
The student athlete in question played in a game in Virginia in early February and less than 30 days later is on a post season roster playing for a team in another state. Which according to the PIAA By-Laws by their own definition makes the student athlete in question ineligible to compete.
The membership of the PIAA has a legitimate concern in this case as it relates to competitive balance because to this fan of high school sports it looks like the rules only apply to public schools and nobody else.
There are two rounds left in the Basketball Championships and for all the world it looks like the AAA Girls Title will have an (*) next to it for years to come.
PIAA leadership you still have time to correct this egregious error, however with your past behavior everyone already expects you will sit by silently and will do absolutely nothing.
The bad news for the PIAA is they get to watch their membership exit to the new organization fondly referred to as the PAHSAA, Pennsylvania High School Athletic Association. In the new PAHSAA, the member schools will be voting on legislative matters and not a Board of Control which obviously lacks the judgement and discernment to protect the best interests of the student athletes of Pennsylvania.
The good news for the PIAA is they get to keep the logo for the newly named Pennsylvania Independent Athletic Association.
PIAA the ball is in your court, again, try not to commit another foul.

OPINION: The PIAA has a sickness

For the better part of my adult life I have made a living broadcasting athletics events at every level of competition and all over the country. What I witnessed at CD East last night in a girls basketball playoff game is the single biggest assault on competition in my many years of covering sports.

As you continue to read this, keep in mind this is not an attack up on a student athlete but the system and adult “leaders” who allow these situations to occur.

The Neumann-Goretti girls basketball team is a very talented team with tremendous players. However, how many of those players actually reside within the normal geographic boundaries for a school district?

One player actually played her first game with the Saints last night after enrolling at the school in recent weeks. What is most troubling is the fact she was already playing for Hampton Phoebus High School in Virginia and is the reining Player of the Year for that area according to a local newspaper account.

She left Phoebus with four games remaining to enroll at Neumann-Goretti. According to her mother who is quoted in the same article the school recently accepted her for admission. Mom didn’t wait, sending daughter to Philadelphia for academics. She is also quoted as saying the move was for academics.

The admission timing and academic quotes just don’s pass muster with me for several reasons.

The Tidewater area of Virginia is known in college basketball recruiting circles as a great place to find good players. Why is Neumann-Goretti processing an acceptance letter late first semester? How many other students were accepted and enrolled in the past three weeks and approved for competition in winter sports having not suited up for the Saints all season long? If it was truly for academics what is the rush? Does anyone have any idea know how many private schools there are between Hampton and Philadelphia? I lost count.

The ripple effect this would set off is staggering, I have friends that have ended their seasons in many states. Are they now allowed to immediately transfer to a school competing in the PIAA and be eligible? Of course not!

If the PIAA allows this player to continue to compete it will have a chilling impact on competition in this state for years to come. The immediate remedies would be as follows:

1). Neumann-Goretti girls basketball forfeits the game last night for using a player who has not participated in any team functions for 75% of the season (per PIAA rules).

2). By using an ineligible player Neumann-Goretti then forfeits its rights to compete in the 2017-2018 PIAA Basketball Tournament.

2). Neumann-Goretti is banned from PIAA post season competition in girls basketball for the period of three years pending review of rules compliance by PIAA after 30 months.

3). The student-athlete in question now has to complete her academic career at Neumann-Goretti without the opportunity to compete in basketball unless she immediately returns to Hampton Phoebus where her mother currently resides to pursue her academic endeavors and basketball career.

4). Any coach or administrator at Neumann-Goretti who was a party to processing this application and approval of this transfer and player eligibility should be suspended immediately pending an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Assembly Select Committee on Interscholastic Athletics.

(I volunteer to be a member)

5). Any PIAA official that signed off on this player being eligible for immediate competition in Pennsylvania should be fired.

6). Any party that may have had a hand in placing this student athlete on this team from a “travel team” should be given a lifetime ban from any PIAA sanctioned event and entry to any PIAA member school.

As you read this understand these are very drastic steps and punishments and unfortunately you have a young lady caught in the middle. This young lady has adults around her who are willing by word and by action to placed her in this situation due to a “win at all costs” mentality.

This illness that has infected sports can indeed be cured if the PIAA wants to provide leadership on this issue and provide the needed guidance.

The ball is now in your court PIAA and on behalf of the student athletes who have been at their respective schools the whole season and who didn’t just show up last week; the shot clock is running.

Todd Bartley

Managing Member

FOX SPORTS 92.7/1050

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Warriors, Cougars team up for “Champions for Charity”

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Lycoming College men’s basketball team will host Misericordia University on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. in “Champions for Charity,” an exhibition game between the two defending Middle Atlantic Conference champions at Lamade Gym, with all proceeds from the game being donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Maria Relief Fund.

All attendees will be asked to pay admission for the game to help raise a donation for the relief fund. Prices are set at $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for students. Other donations will be welcome. At halftime, there will be a halfcourt shot contest, with contestants making a $1 donation to take a shot to win a Lycoming/NCAA Division III identity t-shirt.

The game received a one-time relief waiver from the NCAA, as it is one of nearly 40 charity basketball exhibition games being held around the country for a variety of causes, including hurricane relief for Harvey, Irma and Maria and wildfire relief.

The Warriors are coming off a 24-5 season in 2016-17, in which they won their second straight MAC Commonwealth Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Lycoming is ranked 22nd in the preseason poll.

Misericordia, meanwhile, went 20-8 in 2016-17, as they claimed the MAC Freedom Championship. The Cougars were 18th in the DIII News Preseason Top 25.

The Warriors open the 2017-18 regular season with a trip to Medgar Evers for a 5 p.m. game on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

UPMC Susquehanna Sports Medicine Champions Cup Details

Sports Medicine at UPMC Susquehanna is honored to serve student athletes, coaches, and athletic directors in our local school districts by providing health care that keeps them performing to the best of their abilities. Our Sports Medicine staff takes pride in serving athletes of all sports and are encouraged by their successes. The UPMC Susquehanna Sports Medicine Champions Cup is a new award established to recognize the most excellent UPMC Susquehanna partner school in our region.

Each UPMC Susquehanna partner school may choose 10 teams in any seasonal sport (five boys teams, five girls teams) that have the potential to achieve a PIAA district or state championship (A to AAAAAA). Co-op teams may also participate separately from the host team.


  • Bucktail
  • Canton
  • Central Mountain
  • Cowanesque Valley
  • Hughesville
  • Jersey Shore
  • Loyalsock
  • Montgomery
  • Mountoursville
  • Muncy
  • North Penn Liberty
  • North Penn Mansfield
  • Saint John Neumann
  • South Williamsport
  • Sullivan County
  • Warrior Run
  • Wellsboro
  • Williamson
  • Williamsport Area

Partner schools in which teams or individual athletes achieve a PIAA district or state first or second place as a team, or an individual athlete, will accrue points for the school as follows:

  • 30 Points First Place
  • 18 Points Second Place
    • Bonus Points can be obtained for individual athletes in any of the school’s programs who achieve first or second place (runner up) status in state competition.
  • 10 Points First Place State (Individual)
  • 6 Points Second Place State (Individual)


The UPMC Susquehanna Sports Medicine Champions Cup will be presented to the partner school with the highest score for PIAA performance. The privilege of displaying the trophy will be awarded to the school for placement in its trophy case for the year of honor. A similar award will be on display at UPMC Susquehanna to recognize the champion school. The Student Athlete Perseverance Award will be given to an athlete who was injured, rehabilitated and successfully returned to play during the season. One athlete from each participating partner school will be selected for the award by their certified athletic trainer. Awards will be presented at a regional reception following the spring athletic season.

View Frequently Asked Questions.

Student Athletes Compete for UPMC Susquehanna Sports Medicine Champions Cup

Student athletes at regional schools will all be playing for a new award this school year. In recognition to the continued partnership between UPMC Susquehanna and school districts throughout the region, UPMC Susquehanna established a new award to recognize the most excellent athletes at a UPMC Susquehanna partner school. Teams and school districts through northcentral Pennsylvania will compete for the inaugural Champions Cup.

Sports Medicine at UPMC Susquehanna is honored to serve student athletes, coaches, and athletic directors in our local school districts by providing health care that keeps them performing to the best of their abilities,” said Mike Ludwikowski, Outreach Athletic Training Supervisor for UPMC Susquehanna. “Our staff takes pride in serving all their athletes and get excited and enjoy their athlete’s successes.”

Nineteen schools from Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties are participating throughout the 2017-18 school year. Each school athletic director selected up to 10 teams from each seasonal sport (five boys teams, five girls teams) that have the potential to achieve a PIAA district or state championship (A to AAAAAA). Each team or individual athlete, depending on the sport, is then awarded points based on how they finish in district and state level competitions.

At the end of the 2017-18 school year, student athletes and school representatives will be invited to a special recognition celebration and the UPMC Susquehanna Sports Medicine Champions Cup will be presented to the partner school with the highest score for PIAA performance. A similar award will also be on display at UPMC Susquehanna to recognize the champion school.

A special Student Athlete Perseverance Award will also be given to an athlete who was injured, rehabilitated and successfully returned to play during the season or the school year. One athlete from each participating partner school will be selected for the award by their certified athletic trainer.

For more information or to see current standings for participating schools, please visit

Loyalsock Cares Hurricane Harvey relief effort underway

As previously announced by Loyalsock School District Superintendent Mr. Gerald McLaughlin the an initiative to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, named “Loyalsock Cares” has begun its collection effort.

The drive will continue through Monday, October 2. Items can be dropped off to any Loyalsock school building lobby from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday as well as the Loyalsock Bus garage from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – Noon.

A complete list of needed items is posted above.

Stay tuned to FOX Sports Williamsport,, News Talk 104.1/1600 WEJS and for updates on how to help.

2017 District IV Football Coaches Show debuts tonight

The 2017 District IV Football Coaches Show debuts tonight on Fox Sports Williamsport 92.7 FM, 1050 AM and online

Join host Todd Bartley as he discusses the biggest football match-ups in District IV.

Scheduled to appear on the show this evening are head coaches; Sean Tetreault, Muncy, Chris Eiswerth, South Williamsport and Justin Van Fleet, Loyalsock to name a few.

During the show, Buffalo Wild Wings will also be showing the Week #4 edition of Coaches’ Corner at 7:30 p.m., on WNEP2; including a District IV preview and feature on the “Loyalsock Cares” program to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Loyalsock announces Hurricane Harvey relief effort

Earlier this afternoon Loyalsock School District Superintendent Mr. Gerald McLaughlin announced an initiative to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, named “Loyalsock Cares.”

On Monday, September 11, “Loyalsock Cares” will begin collecting items to aid in the Hurricane Harvey recovery including school supplies, first aid and cleaning supplies. A complete list of needed items will be posted in the next day or so.

The collection point is the Loyalsock bus garage and volunteers are needed to aid in receiving donated items as well as sorting and packaging for loading onto a donated 18-wheel tractor-trailer destined for Texas in early October.

“FOX Sports Williamsport and News Talk 104.1/1600 WEJS are excited to partner with “Loyalsock Cares” on their Hurricane Harvey relief effort,” according to Owner and General Manager, Todd Bartley.

Stay tuned to FOX Sports Williamsport,, News Talk 104.1/1600 WEJS and for updates on how to help.