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State Judge Upholds Suspension of Wayne Hills Football Players

Nine players are not allowed to play in Saturday's championship game.

An administrative law judge upheld the suspension of nine  football players, barring them from playing in the team's sectional championship game on Saturday.

Judge Elleen Bass denied a motion for emergent relief filed by attorneys for the nine players, who were each charged with aggravated assault following a fight at a private party in October, said. 

Bass upheld a from all extracurricular activities, including football, after a four-hour closed door hearing in Newark. 

The Board imposed the ban on the nine players, including star wide receiver Andrew Monaghan, 18, on Nov. 25. The other eight players are juveniles.

The players initially filed a petition for emergent relief on the ban with Passaic County Superior Court Judge Thomas Brogan. Brogan , referring the matter to Cref's office. The state’s Bureau of Controversies and Disputes, which assists Cref in hearing testimony and issuing rulings regarding disputes under state school laws, referred the matter to Bass.

Bass's recommendation for upholding the ban will go to Cref, who may accept or reject all or part of it, said Kalman Geist, the attorney representing Monaghan.

"They're punishing the innocent here," said Darren Del Sardo, an attorney representing one of the juveniles.

Geist said Cref would "probably" announce his decision on the matter Friday.

Del Sardo said that that there is a “high standard” when it comes to requesting emergent relief, including proving that irreparable harm would have been done to the players by allowing the ban to remain in effect. Del Sardo said that Bass agreed irreparable harm would be done to the players, who are starters, if they don’t play, but kept the suspensions in place anyway.

“It’s just a real heightened standard that’s hard to overcome,” Del Sardo said.  “We tried everything.”

Del Sardo said the Board’s inability to come to a consensus on how to properly discipline the players made the case a difficult one to win.

The players were in the team’s first-and second-round state playoff games Nov. 11 and 18. Citing case law, Interim Superintendent Michael Roth Nov. 16. The Board .

“I just wish the Board didn’t do as much flip-flopping,” Del Sardo said. “I wish they protected the innocent here. They failed.”

The players were charged with aggravated assault after police said they attacked two students after a party on Urban Club Road Oct. 29. Police said one of the students was left unconscious in the street.

Del Sardo said his client was not at the incident and is innocent of the charges brought before him.

“I wish someone would have listened to me so he would have been vindicated today,” Del Sardo said.

not one of the nine December 02, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Yay, school has let out and the students can sign in and yell about due process until tomorrow night.
Scott December 02, 2011 at 08:30 PM
This whole court case and issue with a weak board of ed SHOULD be completely moot. If the parents of these kids involved had done the right thing, none of them would have even been playing anyway.
Rich December 02, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Well, at least the Parents, can stop spending money on these shark lawyers, and start putting the money to the defense of their children against serious charges. The money spent to try to get a legal remedy against a suspension of extracuricular activity was not only wasteful, but caused the Hills program and Wayne to have such a negative spotlight on it, I cannot imagine why any sane person, would have gone this route. It really makes you wonder who was driving this bus. I wouldn't be suprised if it was coming from somewhere else than the parents themselves.
not one of the nine December 02, 2011 at 09:16 PM
My dear Phyllis, while I have no interest in partying with you (rather odd way to flatter for an adult), perhaps the attched link from the Bergen Record will shed some light on why the police may not be lining up to escort the team bus. I guess when the team decides to chant "F#*@ the police" at the pep rally the men in blue may not be quite so fast to cheer them on. Additionally, why would I want to pay for the police to leave town and escort the busses? Holy cow has this town turned football into a religion with the Almighty Olsen as it's highest priest. http://www.northjersey.com/news/Officials_cite_growing_tension_in_two_Wayne_high_schools_judges_ruling_says.html
George December 02, 2011 at 09:18 PM
I am pleased with the decisions rendered and believe the suspensions adn barring from extracuricular activities is the proper outcome. Furthermore I am not a fan of Coach Olsen or how he runs his program at WH. While I cannot dispute his results in terms or win and losses, it seems to me he is falling short on teaching more important life lessons. All that said, I am wishing well to the remainder of the WH football team who were not involved in the "incident" and have worked hard to get to this level.
John December 02, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Rich, I'm 100% in favor of appropriately punishing kids who are found to be guilty and 100% against risking that some innocent kids will be unfairly punished. There has been no attempt to appropriately gather facts and draw proper conclusions, only a knee jerk politically-weak-willed reaction to the mob mentality of misinformed public sentiment.
Al Scala December 02, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Glad to see the Commissioner of Education upheld the recommendation from the Administrative Law Judge. Finally, common sense prevails.
irapasses December 02, 2011 at 09:47 PM
its not that hard to figure out who they are even if they were allowed to play. the final decision is public record and has all of the players initials on it. grab a roster.. not too hard to match up http://media.nj.com/njcom_football_blog/other/Wayne%20Hills%20commissioner%20decision%20in%20pdf.pdf
John December 02, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Ira, what document has all the players initials on it?
careless fills December 02, 2011 at 09:54 PM
@K: I don't hink anyone from anywhere else about whether or not these nine did play against them (if they lost) or will play against them in the future. That wouldn't be sporting and anyway that's not their business - they will just go ahead play the silly game.
irapasses December 02, 2011 at 10:02 PM
the final decision from the Commissioner of Education. i posted the link above. It is easily accessible on the internet. If the parents or coach just disciplined these kids internally their names (or initial in this case) would have never been published ANYWHERE.Even if they won the case this document would have revealed their identities so I really dont get the "irreperable harm" thing as stated . Suiting up or not suiting up would not hide the facts that these 9 brought a case in front of a Judge in NJ!!
Rich December 02, 2011 at 10:15 PM
Interesting isn't it. Sort of Hypocritical, to go up in front of a Judge or Commisioner and as your main point of contention, is revealing your identity by your absence from the field on game night, but you voulntarily put your initials on a "Public" document,for all to see and cross reference against the WH Football website with the Roster listed. Have to wonder if Cerf was a bit amused by their Lawyers defense, or lack of...
careless fills December 02, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Spot on! Methinks football players are USUALLY taught not retaliate since that nearly guarantees an unsportsmanlike penalty whilst the original offender often goes scott free. Perhaps they missed learning that "life-long lesson" from their esteemed coach. This is for the lawyer who claims that they were defending themselves. If they really were, as he claims, then they still need to limit their action to self defense, and what happened seems to have gone beyond that. As you said, they should have removed themselves from the situtation.
abbie December 02, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Just an explanation: the students at Wayne Hills have a pep rally or spirit week rally every year and at the beginning of the year (before this incident) the student council leaders for each grade pick a name that goes with the color that is assigned for that grade. For instance, Pink is freshmen, purple is juniors, anyway, the students pick names that sound cool and pick a theme around it. This year the juniors decided on the Purple Police, as I said way before the incident. Now it's reported that the police is being disrespected in the school because the students were booing the police. Well, the truth is that the freshmen boo all other grades when they are introduced, then the sophs, then juniors and so on, so when the police, or junior purple police was introduced they were boo'd as were the Orange Seniors and the rest of the grades. It was in fun and unfortunately now it's turned into another made-up story from people who are full of crap
Phyllis Rec December 03, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Ok the pep rally. Eachnclassnhas a theme. The freshmen were the freshmen firemen the juniors werenthenpurple police,,,,,,the classes compete vs each other,,,,those were the police who were being jeered at during the spirit rally,,,,the junior class wearing purple police t shorts,,the themes for each class were chosen well in advance of the incident at the party. So before you think you know everything think again...........I now realize you have no sense of humor I was not trying to flatter you Get a life
Phyllis Rec December 03, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Dear not one,,,,not very adult of you to call me phallic when my name is phyllis. You say I'm immature?
Phyllis Rec December 03, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Thank you Abbie you may also want to let the selfrighteous idiots on this sight that food and money were raised and donated to the poor by the students involved.
Phyllis Rec December 03, 2011 at 12:26 AM
Jesus you would actually spend your time trying to figure out who they are? You need to get a hobby
Not one of the nine December 03, 2011 at 03:45 AM
My dear phallus. So did each class have the football team cursing them? F*#% the orange seniors, F*^% the firemen? Or only the junior purple police? Yeah, you were there too? Oops your son told you, right? I find it laughable that you would creep on me with a "I want to party with you" comment when you misread my post and thought it was in support of your boys. When you finally figured out I detest your ilk I then no longer have a sense of humor? bwahahahahahahahah
K December 03, 2011 at 12:57 PM
These kids are minors, you didn't have to let everyone know how to figure out who they are. YOU helped take away the kids rights on this point, congrats. Innocent or not, they deserve to have their identities concealed.
Phyllis Rec December 03, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Good morning not one, I never thought you were "in support ". I just respect the fact that you and I could have had different opinions and believe it or not I got a kick out of one of you silly posts. I guess it went over your teeny tiny little head. I am clearly a more open minded and nicer person than you . Continue to spew your venom in life, continue to spread lies. Please remember everything you do comes back to you.
Frank December 03, 2011 at 01:10 PM
So basically what you are saying is that Superintendent Roth lied under oath??? I don't think so!
Phyllis Rec December 03, 2011 at 01:19 PM
Frank, good morning, it is quite possible the mr Roth did not fully understand the spirit rally event and that in fact one of the classes was the police. Further, did someone tell Roth this went on or did he personally witness this? And how in the world, with a gym filled with the entire student body, would you be able to tell who was yelling what. It is possible again that there were chants regarding the police but I would put my life on it that the remarks were regarding the PURPLE POLICE. Thanks for listening.
Dory Degen December 03, 2011 at 04:23 PM
well he did say he'd be watching your freshman son. how does he know you have a son who is a freshman, if you even do. you just never know on the internet. you don't have to be stupid to be dangerous.
Dory Degen December 03, 2011 at 04:26 PM
@Careless fills you are right they probably were taught as football players not to retaliate, but alcohol tends to impair judgment.
Dory Degen December 03, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Phyllis....i don't know, you are right, of course i wasn't there.. but suspending the boys from games who were arrested was the appropriate action given the circumstances. i am sorry we disagree. i am also soryy if you are related to one of these boys becasue i do believe they probably otherwise good kids, but just made bad choices that night. I think the biggest manipulation was what the coach did to these biys. instead of disciplining them (like benching them from a game or two) he paraded them around as an extension of his ego. he used them. and now look at this mess. i feel bad for all involved. btw, if you are a parent of one of the nine....for the love of God please tell me you at least took his cell phone away.
Dory Degen December 03, 2011 at 04:36 PM
omgosh i don't normally laugh at sarcastic remarks but that was creative!
Dory Degen December 03, 2011 at 04:41 PM
The fact is they were arrested for a felony. Very unsportsmanlike. And there are consequences to actions in our good town. Thank God. I know it seems unfair and I am sorry this has upset you so much.
Dory Degen December 03, 2011 at 04:54 PM
for crying out loud....pep rallies, food for the poor, purple police, ugh, i don't care. the boys can't play in games, they have been charged with a serious crime, a felony i believe. now the town can start to figure out how to move forward, i.e, continue with the present leadership or not (Olsen, BOE). and the boys and their parents can prepare for court, and eventual trial gathering from the not guity plea i am expecting. i am wondering two things.....when is their first court appearance. and can someone please tell me that at the very least when this first happened the boys' parents took their cell phones away?
Jay Pierson December 05, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Paul Soriero: Your statement that the players should not be allowed to play until all the facts are heard and a final decision is made. So you believe that if you are unjustly accused of something you should loose your rights as an American citizen until all the facts are in. That is not how are forefathers wanted our legal system to run. Shame on all of you who want to punish these kids before you know what all the facts are. Hopefully your children never have to be told they are guilty before it has been proven. No I don't have anything to do with this community. I am actually from Montana. I just do not like to see an injustice take place. The players should be punished only after they have been convicted not before.

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