GIBSONIA, Pa. — Students and football players rallied Friday morning in support of Pine-Richland High School’s former football coach, who was fired Wednesday night along with the entire football staff.
The large crowd of students, some holding signs in support of Eric Kasperowicz, gathered outside the high school. They demanded the district explain why the entire football staff was let go.
Friday night, Kasperowicz told Channel 11 he already reapplied to his old coaching job at Pine-Richland.
According to Channel 11′s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, administrators had been questioning current and former players about allegations of misconduct in the locker room.
Kasperowicz said in a statement that “no bullying or hazing took place in the Pine-Richland football program under my watch,” and Northern Regional Police Chief John Sicilia confirmed Thursday that his department has not received any reports of hazing.
Players told Channel 11 News that despite the reported school investigation, there has been hazing and no wrongdoing by any of the coaches. They said Kasperowicz molded them into decent men and quality students on and off the field.
“I never saw any of this,” Charlie Mill, a senior Pine-Richland football player, said. “They’ve been kind of just looking for anything as an out, so this came to their table and, yeah, I mean, I never saw any bullying, harassment, any type of that stuff.”
Kasperowicz’s advisor sent an email to Pine-Richland on Friday, requesting a sit-down meeting with the superintendent and other senior administrators.
Parents and players, both current and former, have voiced their shock and anger over the firing of Kasperowicz and the football staff. Now former quarterbacks coach Todd Jochem called the firings a “quest for power” by administrators and school board members.
A Change.org petition titled “Bring back Pine Richland football coaches” has been started.