Friday, March 25, 2011

PIAA grants Justin Pacchioli eligibility to play baseball for Nazareth Area High School


Justin Pacchioli will be playing baseball for Nazareth Area High School this spring.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Directors, by a 14-12 vote today, granted Pacchioli eligibility to play for the Blue Eagles. The vote reversed a District 11 decision that ruled Pacchioli ineligible.

Pacchioli, a star football and baseball player at Easton Area High School, transferred to Nazareth in January.

District 11, by an 8-6 vote on March 21, denied Pacchioli's eligibility to play for the Blue Eagles. Nazareth, on the behalf of Pacchioli, appealed the decision to the PIAA.

Pacchioli, who has been practicing with the Blue Eagles, can play immediately.

Nazareth's game at Pocono Mountain East today was postponed. The Blue Eagles' next game is home Monday against East Stroudsburg South.

Easton Principal Michael Koch and Athletic Director Jim Pokrivsak testified at today's hearing, as did Pacchioli's attorney, Steven Hoffman. Nazareth Area School District was not represented at the hearing.

The PIAA deliberated for about 45 minutes.

"The Pacchiolis are ecstatic," Hoffman said. "They're happy the PIAA didn't consider the transfer was made for athletic reasons. Justin is looking forward to playing baseball this year."

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