Former Penn. HS wrestling coach sues school district for defamation

Former Penn. HS wrestling coach sues school district for defamation

Wrestling

Former Penn. HS wrestling coach sues school district for defamation

A former Pennsylvania high school wrestling coach has filed a lawsuit against his former school district, superintendent and a member of the school board for defamation related to claims that were circulated about his coaching methods.

As reported by the Sun-Gazette, former Muncy (Penn.) High School wrestling coach Denny Harer has filed a lawsuit claiming Muncy superintendent Craig Skaluba spread a series of defamatory allegations about Harer’s coaching methods, particularly with respect to his athletes’ weight cutting practices. Here’s more of Harer’s claims from the Sun-Gazette:

Skaluba reportedly told the board that Harer went against compliance with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Sports Medicine Guidelines when he allowed his players to use saunas and sauna suits to drop weight. The suit also states that he told the board that Harer yelled expletives toward referees, confronted a board member at a local event, allowed unapproved individuals to participate in wrestling activities and more during his 13 years as head coach.

None of these claims have been verified beyond the claims made by Harer in his suit. However, they were effective, with the coach’s tenure at the school coming to an end after 13 years; he served as the Muncy head wrestling coach from 2005-2018.

Harer’s suit also specifically cites district board member Scott McClean, whom Harer claims offered the following statement in a board meeting:

“Bet ya didn’t hear that he (Harer) hospitalized a kid and less than 24 hours after he was released he had him back at practice in a sauna suit.”

Now, Harer is seeking a minimum of $50,000 in damages, with a full lawsuit certain in the coming months; all three plaintiffs confirmed they planned to defend themselves in court.

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Former Penn. HS wrestling coach sues school district for defamation
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