Parents rally for terminated Eastchester varsity basketball and football head coach
Parents rallied Thursday after the Eastchester School District fired the varsity basketball and football head coach over alleged profanity used in the locker room.
Parents and coaches said it is unfair and that the district did not do a thorough investigation into the allegations.
In less than 24 hours, a change.org petition garnered thousands of signatures to reinstate the boys basketball and football varsity head coach, Fred DiCarlo.
"I know what he's been accused of saying and I've been coaching a long time, and I've played sports for him and in college. And there isn't a locker room in Westchester County that wouldn't be said of any locker room of any sport," said junior varsity boys basketball coach Joseph Cirasella. He played for DiCarlo as a high school student and said the coach of 32 years didn't have any prior complaints by students or parents and was let go without a warning.
"We are all pretty appalled by it," Cirasella said.
Some questioned the timing of the firing right after a successful football season and just days before basketball season.
"If this is his first offense, he should not be let go because of one mistake because of a heat of the moment thing," said assistant football coach Tony Panio.
Dan Schultz, a parent who's had three kids play for DiCarlo, said he is outraged by the firing.
"I'm a big supporter of Coach Fred," Schultz said. "He has been nothing but a valued person in our household. He treated my young boys, or young men, like men, he held them accountable, and he held himself accountable. Coach was always accountable, too."
The Eastchester Board of Education and superintendent declined to comment on the firing.
However, a spokesperson told News 12 that if "substantial complaints" are submitted by parents against staff members, they are investigated. The spokesperson added, "School boards then determine what the appropriate penalty, if any, will be, based on the gravity of allegations."
DiCarlo declined to comment for News 12's story but was told this is only the beginning of the fight to get him reinstated.
A large showing by DiCarlo supporters at the next school board meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday.