A newly hired Pittsburgh area high school basketball coach stands accused of recruiting area middle schoolers and could face a one-year suspension before he even gets a chance to coach a single game.
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Penn.) boys basketball coach Brian Urso faces charges of recruiting eighth grade student athletes through emails since he took the position in late April.
Urso, the former Robert Morris director of basketball administration, allegedly sent emails to a number of eighth grade basketball players asking them to attend open gym sessions at Central Catholic. That outreach could allegedly be considered a recruiting violation, which is allegedly carries with it a one-year suspension for coaches.
While Urso will defend himself against the charges on Wednesday at a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) hearing, there are additional NCAA charges that could land his former employer in hot water, too. Per the Post-Gazette, Urso included an application for the Robert Morris Boy’s Basketball Camp, explicitly saying that he was still organizing the camp and could provide a discount if applications mentioned Central Catholic.
If so, that would make Urso an employee of Robert Morris, which would be an NCAA violation.
If Urso is suspended for a year, it’s likely he would appeal his case to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, whose decision would overrule the WPIAL.
For its part, Central Catholic administration is standing by its coach, at least to this point.
“We feel it is best those issues be addressed at the hearing,” Brother Anthony Baginski, Central Catholic’s principal, told the Post-Gazette via en emailed response. “We are looking forward to Wednesday’s hearing with the WPIAL. We fully support and stand by Coach Urso and believe this meeting will provide us with the opportunity to clarify the potential recruiting violation and move forward from this issue.”