SCRANTON — The boys basketball program from Saint Clare/Saint Paul Elementary School in Scranton is on probation for next season.
According to a letter from the Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, the sanction is punishment for actions by family members of the team on a recent tournament trip.
Mauri Collins’ daughter is the captain of the cheerleading team.
She said nothing out of the ordinary took place while the team and their families stayed at a hotel near Philadelphia.
“We’re a great group of people having a good time, and these accusations are unfounded and unfair,” said Collins.
In the letter the Bishop sent to the principal of the school, he quotes numerous complaints from other hotel guests including: “One gentleman who told us they were from St. Clare/St. Paul said that their group rented 75 rooms, and therefore our complaints would fall on deaf ears.”
Another said, “The behavior set by the parents and children have left a bad taste with us and indeed has tarnished the school`s reputation.”
Collins said, “I’m concerned and I’m saddened by what our bishop has taken as fact from unnamed and unknown sources, honestly.”
The Diocese of Scranton released this statement: “Bishop Joseph C. Bambera communicated his concerns about this matter to the school principal, and he asked the principal to share these concerns with the school community. That was done and the matter has been addressed. ”
Parents said that regardless of what happened on that basketball trip, the children should not be the ones taking the blame.
“That to me is unacceptable because this is the next year’s kids that are coming in. They have absolutely nothing to do with this,” said Collins.
Collins said the only difference between this year and years past is that more people attended this trip, almost 200.
“Could we be accused of being a little bit loud? I think so, but I don’t think we’re any different from any other group that would have visited that hotel,” said Collins.
St. Clare/St. Paul Elementary in Scranton will play games as scheduled next season, but the Diocese warns that any other issues with the program could lead to forfeiting games, including playoffs.
The Bishop plans to review the program’s probationary status at the end of 2015 school year.