FARRELL — Farrell Area School Board took no action Monday on a request taking legendary basketball coach Edward J. McCluskey’s name off the high school gymnasium.
About 30 district residents attended Monday’s meeting, held days after The Herald published allegations that McCluskey physically abused players during his 29-year career coaching basketball in Farrell, the board said it would consider the question until next month’s meeting.
Supporters of McCluskey, who coached the Steelers to seven state championships, are campaigning for him to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The board, citing advice from district Solicitor James Nevant, said it could not vote on the request to remove McCluskey’s name from the school’s gym until next month at the earliest.
“We’re going to take it under advisement and as a board we’ll look at this at the October meeting.” Board President Terry Harrison said. “This board needs to look at the entire picture and see exactly where we need to go with this.”
Four people spoke Monday about the allegations. One man claimed to be a victim of abuse at McCluskey’s hands.
Brian Sanders, who brought forth the allegations by gathering certified letters attesting to abuse by McCluskey, also addressed the board. Two other people spoke in support of Sanders.
Nevant said the board could not legally vote on the issue because it was not on the meeting agenda. According to a newly adopted state law, a public entity, including school boards, must post its agenda at least 24 hours before the meeting. Since the motion was not on the agenda, the board could not even raise the motion, let alone legally vote on it, Nevant said.
The Herald will publish additional information, including comments from attendees and school board members, Wednesday.