Diocese Puts Basketball Program on Probation

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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.


  • Melanie

    If anyone is wondering why I am signing my full name and disclosing my email address it is because I am hoping our pathetic excuse of a bishop will man up and care about his flock. Personally I’m not holding my breath for a response via email so here is my phone number 570 878 0484. No response, fine I still havethe DA to turn to. I don’t think Altavilla and Sica can lie the their way out of what I have to say in spite of Sica’s experience swearing on a bible wearing clerical garb and lieing through h I s teeth. MELANIE WEAVER

  • Melanie

    Before you consider deleting my comments try to remember just how many men and women died to give AMERICANS the right to free speech. Last time I looked WNEP IS LOCATED IN AMERICA. Melanie Weaver

  • Guest at hotel

    I was at the hotel during that time and it was awful! Running, jumping, yelling, playing on the stairs and playing catch with a parent in front on the hotel door/entrance. It was a weekend from hell! Both parents and kids were oblivious to the fact that other guests were in the hotel. I have never seen so many ill-behaved students in my life! They were swarming all over the hotel all night! The poor hotel staff were overwhelmed. When we went on class field trips were knew that we had to be on our best behavior. Neither our school nor parents would have tolerated what we endured that weekend. I head that the athletes were at a different hotel while the families were at ours so that the athletes wouldn’t be disturbed. Contact the hotel. The received more complaints than the school did, in sure! Those students at the hotel should be punished, not next year’s. That doesn’t seem fair.

  • Joe

    I had the dis-pleasure of dealing with the St Paul/St Clare crowd and found the parents very rude and overbearing. During our game we were behind on the score and trying everything including using our timeouts and fouling select players (the game is played that way) and a mother loudly stated “The game’s over, just stop trying”. What a class act. I’m incline to believe what they are accused of is true, the parents need to get their act together and let the action be on the court.

  • tom

    typical sport crazy parents.They probably acted like big shots,I had daughters play biddy basketball-some parents are plain crazy the way they actred at games-yelling at refs,coaches.

  • Bob F

    I think the Bishop should worry more about his child abusing priests. He protects all of them and just moves them to another parish. And I’m sure their are a lot more that he knows of but he would rather turn the other way and keep it hush-hush… Shame on you “Hanna Bambera”.

  • carl

    Punish the parents- they were the ones acting like brats- the Kids do not need to suffer for bratty parents.

  • SteveL

    Apparently there were multiple complaints received from all parts of PA and other states about the behavior of these “parents”. I feel bad for the kids of these creeps that live vicariously through them to fulfill their Uncle Rico fantasies. It’s not 1982 mom and dad grow up

  • Charles

    Maybe the bishop should be more concerned with his child abusing priests than a group of parents being a bit rowdy at a basketball tournament. Just sayin …altivilla….shoback….how many more???

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