Westinghouse High School girls’ basketball coach Phyllis Jones has been reinstated after receiving a one-year suspension in February for allegedly recruiting a Langley High School player.
“I feel great. This should’ve been taken care of a long time ago and I’m ready to put this behind me and move forward,” Jones said.
|HONOREE— Phyllis Jones was named Coach of the Year at the Courier’s All City Awards Banquet.
Jones was suspended by the City League at a hearing Feb. 27 when Langley officials accused her of attempting to recruit one of their junior varsity players. The suspension passed by a 5-3 vote from the athletic committee.
Since the initial suspension, Jones continued coaching while the case was under review by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. The PIAA granted Jones a stay of her suspension because they said she had not been fully prepared for the first hearing.
“Because of the way it was done I didn’t know a lot of stuff that was going on,” Jones said. “I wasn’t properly prepared for the case in the beginning.”
The appeal hearing was set to occur at the end of March, but was postponed until May and then postponed for a second time until July. Prior to the hearing, the PIAA decided to send the case back to City League District 8 committee for a hearing to be held in September.
“A key word is patience,” Jones said. “This whole experience definitely taught me patience.”
The reversal of the one-year suspension came after Langley officials retracted their allegations against Jones. The District 8 committee then voted unanimously to accept the letter of retraction and drop the case.
“Langley dropped their charges and the district board accepted their dismissal,” said City League athletic director Mike Gavlik. “That’s the district’s decision and we obviously respect their decision.”
A similar incident erupted in March of 2006 when Jones was first accused of recruiting and set to receive a one-year suspension. Though the penalty was reversed by the PIAA, Jones was suspended for the first five games of the 2006-07 season and placed on probation for two years.
Jones has coached at Westinghouse for 19 seasons and has won two National Coaching awards and several City League championships, which includes the past three in a row. She has also been selected as the Courier’s Coach of the Year the past two years.