by: Chris Harlan, TribLIVE Updated:
GREENSBURG, Pa. - The Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball team will be banned from this season's playoffs unless the school suspends coach Greg Bisignani for three regular season games.
That ultimatum was delivered Tuesday by the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Board of Control, said WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley. The punishment was the outcome of a hearing Monday that examined Bisignani's interaction with an official in the moments after an overtime loss to McKeesport on Jan. 18.
The board believed that Bisignani bumped referee Mike Tucci while criticizing him, and decided that the coach should be disciplined whether the contact was intentional or not, O'Malley said.
The WPIAL does not have the ability to discipline coaches individually but can impose penalties on schools or teams. The Centurions are 14-2 overall, undefeated in Section 3 and ranked second in Class AA.
Because Greensburg Central Catholic was closed Tuesday by cold weather, administrators were not able to discuss the WPIAL's decision, athletic director Dan Mahoney said. But the school will make certain the team remains eligible for the playoffs, he said.
Along with a reprimand for the school's athletic department, the WPIAL decision also required Bisignani to attend a coaching seminar, placed the basketball program on probation and insisted that a school administrator accompany the team for future games.
Bisignani, an orthopedic surgeon in his fifth season as coach, could not be reached.