Pinkerton Headmaster Mary Anderson has cleared boys' basketball coach Peter Rosinski of any wrongdoing in connection with an alleged altercation with a player during halftime of a game against Nashua South on March 6.
"The investigation concluded Monday," said Anderson, in an exclusive meeting with the Derry News, also attended by Rosinski, Pinkerton AD Bob Royce, Dean of Students Glenn Ahrens and school media relations coordinator Robin Perrin. "I spent 25-30 hours last week talking to students, coaches and parents. The last people that we spoke to were the player allegedly involved, his parents and the coach.
"We did our due diligence, we investigated it and I have concluded that the allegations are unfounded. There is no issue."
For his part, Rosinski admitted that there was a heated discussion with a player during the first half of the Nashua South game, an exchange that continued into the locker room at halftime. However, he remained adamant that there was absolutely no physical contact with the player during the verbal altercation. Rosinski released a statement, in which he thanked the player and his family.
"I would like to thank the player who was directly involved and his parents for their willingness to step forward and set the record straight," the statement read. "Their positive support is greatly appreciated! They are a very honorable family.
"I would also like to thank all players, coaches, parents and colleagues both past and present for their support. I look forward to helping my players be all they can be."
In the eyes of Pinkerton officials, the case is closed.
But the question remains, how did things get to this point?
The investigation was triggered because the parent of a young person associated with the team called this newspaper to report a physical altercation between Rosinski and a player. That young person said the player was grabbed and thrown to the ground. The young person he also said Rosinski apologized for the incident at a team practice on Sunday, March 8.
Anderson acknowledges that some of those witnesses interviewed spoke of the player being shoved against a wall or that there was grabbing and pushing and shoving.
However, Anderson stresses, when she spoke to the player, his parents and Rosinski, they all say nothing happened.
And what of the Sunday apology?
Rosinski admits he apologized, but said it was for losing his cool and yelling at the player.
Anderson is right when she says that at the end of the day, the credibility of the witnesses must be weighed and she concluded that Rosinski, the player and his parents would have no reason to lie.
She did not accuse those who said there was physical contact of lying but did say that their perception of the incident may be skewed and suggested that there may be some disgruntled players or parents.
To be sure, there are always players or parents upset at a coach for one thing or another and some will spend an entire season complaining.
But these allegations weren't skewed perception. The stories were related with confidence in their accuracy.
So what we are left with is two sets of people telling polar opposite versions of a sequence of events.
Somebody is lying.
Bill Gilman is the editor of the Derry News. He can be reached by phone at 603-421-3880 or by E-mail at email@example.com