A Cardinal Mooney freshman football coach has resigned after the Ohio State High School Athletic Association began investigating a possible improper dinner relating to a Struthers eighth grader who ultimately decided to enroll at the Catholic school next year.
OSHAA Communications Director Tim Stried said in an emailed statement on Thursday the coach, who was not named, hosted the Struthers Middle School student about their possible enrollment at Mooney.
OHSAA ruled that if the student attends Mooney during the 2013-2014 school year, they will be ineligible to play sports.
“I have a problem with that because a 14-year-old boy that doesn’t know the rules is being punished because of the mistakes of one of our ex-employees did,” Cardinal Mooney Assistant Superintendent Randy Rair said. “This young man doesn’t know he can’t do this. I have a problem punishing a student for the mistakes of adults.”
Rair said Mooney was notified by Struthers Superintendent Joe Nora, who had heard rumors of the meeting. Rair said the Youngstown Diocese conducted an internal investigation that found one student attended a meal with his parents and the coach who was “acting alone.”
Stried said the OHSAA is still investigating another, who has not yet committed to the school, about receiving repeated text messages from another coach at Mooney, which could also be an infraction against the school.
Rair said their internal investigation revealed no wrong-doing in the texting case.
OSHAA has not levied penalties against the school, pending the outcome of their investigation, Stried said.
Rair said the diocese reported the incidents to OHSAA.
“On our end, we try to do the right thing,” Rair said. “It was the action of one employee that had an error in judgment. The school and the diocese tried to do the right thing. We could have covered this up. A lot of headaches would have been solved. But we wanted to do the right thing going forward.”