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West Deptford AD Morrell blasts Haddonfield

West Deptford High School athletic director Jason Morrell blasted Haddonfield High School Monday morning in a letter to Colonial Conference officials.

West Deptford High School athletic director Jason Morrell blasted Haddonfield High School Monday morning in a letter to Colonial Conference officials.

Morrell decried Haddonfield's "dismissive" attitude in reaction to a social-media incident involving West Deptford football coach Clyde Folsom.

"My concern comes from the lack of integrity, lack of concern, lack of care and total dismissive stance that the Haddonfield High School adminstration has acted with throughout this process," Morrell said in a letter emailed to Colonial Conference officials and copied to members of the media on Monday morning.

The firestorm has erupted after a Haddonfield football parent, identified by Morrell as Bill Murray, put a photo on Facebook of Folsom appearing to use an obscene gesture during the South Jersey Group 2 championship game Dec. 7 at Rowan University, according to Morrell.

The photo was accompanied by a post that accused some West Deptford fans of using the same obscene gesture as well as foul language toward the Haddonfield team buses when they arrived at Rowan.

"Look at the leader. Disgrace!!" read the post, which since has been removed from Facebook.

The photo was a screen capture from the video service "Hudl," which is used by many football programs.

Players from both Haddonfield and West Deptford -- as well as many programs in South Jersey -- are able to access the team's "Hudl" account to watch game films.

Morrell said the clip was "paused and the frame was captured in a deliberate attempt to depict Coach Folsom in a demonstrative, disrespectful and demeaning posture."

Morrell said Haddonfield athletic director Lefty Banos, in a conversation with Morrell on Dec. 8, "made clear that in no way, shape or form did he believe the image of Coach Folsom was legitimate."

Banos has not responded Monday morning to a request for comment.

Sterling athletic director Matt Sheehan, the president of the Colonial Conference, declined comment on Monday.

A Haddonfield football parent who asked not to be identified on Monday morning said there was "no tampering" with the photo.

Folsom and Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano have declined to comment.

Morrell said the incident underscored the importance of school officials dealing with social media.

"The traditional concept of 'rivalry' has taken a step down a very dangerous pathway."

In an interview on Friday, Morrell said he was concerned because Haddonfield officials allowed the incident to smear the reputation of Folsom.

Folsom is widely regarded as one of the top football coaches in South Jersey history. He has a career record of 229-69-5 in 23 seasons at West Deptford plus five at Bishop Eustace.

"At the very least, I expected the Haddonfield adminstration to step up and say that they do not condone this, that they had nothing to do with it and that they apologize that someone associated with their football program would do something like that," Morrell said Friday. "That hasn't happened and that's disappointing.

"My No. 1 concern is that they displayed a dismissive attitude.

"If somebody can negate 35 years of what this man has done in high school football and all the good he has done and somebody can negate that, then we've got major problems.

"It's an integrity deal, it's a class deal. How do you want to present yourself?

"My concern is where this leads us and not just as far as West Deptford and Haddonfield but as far as parents and people associated with these programs and what they can do with social media.

"Parents need to be cognizant of the fact that they can't just do whatever they want to do. We need to stand up and say we have expectations."

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