Conn. football team says opposing coach cheated in using lost play list
Manchester High has filed a formal protest claiming Southington High cheated
Manchester says Southington's coach got his hands on a list of Manchester's plays
Southington's D.J. Hernandez can allegedly be seen in a video with the play list
HARTFORD, Conn.(AP) -- A Connecticut high school has filed a formal protest alleging an opposing football coach cheated by using a play list that had been lost during their game.
Manchester High School coach Marco Pizzoferrato told the Hartford Courant last week that a list of coded plays, written on an armband belonging to one of his players, can be seen attached to the clipboard being used by Southington High School coach D.J. Hernandez in films from Southington's 28-14 win against Manchester on Oct. 22.
Kevin O'Donnell, Manchester's principal said Monday that he has sent a protest letter to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
"Since the alleged violation hasn't been self-reported by Southington High School, as principal of Manchester High School I'm filing this protest and requesting that the board of control review this matter and provide advice and direction to the schools involved," he wrote in a letter dated Friday.
Larry Williams, the chairman of the CIAC's football committee had not seen the letter, but said the alleged incident might not rise to the level of cheating.
"It's what we call ethics between coaches and good sportsmanship," he said. "I don't think it's cheating per se."
Southington High School principal Martin Semmel said he had planned to release the results of an internal investigation later Tuesday. He declined to say what was in the report, or if Hernandez would be disciplined.
The 24-year-old coach, a former quarterback and wide receiver at UConn, is the brother of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. He is in his first year at Southington.
He has declined to comment on the incident.
"That game is over," Hernandez told The Courant. "What's in the past is in the past."
Williams said he is hopeful the two schools can agree on an appropriate resolution to the issue. If not, he said the CIAC is prepared to get involved.
"We need to make sure we produce good citizens, and that's what this game is all about," he said. "These are all teaching moments."
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