Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Coach recants harsh e-mail

Chet Moffett of Erie's Cathedral Prep castigated hoops fans for lack of enthusiasm.

ERIE, Pa. - A guidance counselor and track coach at a Western Pennsylvania Catholic school has been suspended without pay for two weeks after he sent the student body an insulting e-mail criticizing the lack of fan support at a recent basketball game.

Chet Moffett apologized for the e-mail he sent to students at Erie's Cathedral Prep high school after its Dec. 13 loss at General McLane.

Moffett's e-mail was sent to all students at the all-male school, but mainly targeted 36 students whom the coach saw not sitting in a student cheering section. Moffett wrote that those who sat with their parents should "cut the umbilical cord and grow a pair."

Moffett was harsher yet on students who sat with their girlfriends, apart from the cheering section, writing "if she made or wanted you to sit with her, then she's a high maintenance, selfish pig and you should dump her now." Moffett referred to other students who sat apart with classmates as "boy lovers."

The e-mail referred to General McLane as "General McLame" and its fans as "mayonnaise sandwich eating, sister loving, trailer park dwelling clowns." It also referred to another school, Mercyhurst Prep, as "Mercyworst."

The Rev. Scott Jabo, Cathedral Prep's president, said Moffett has apologized and offered to resign, but school officials believe he was contrite and deserves to keep his job.

"He took full responsibility," Jabo said. "He apologized to the student body, and he is in the process of apologizing to Mercyhurst Prep and General McLane. Obviously the e-mail runs contrary to the mission of Cathedral Prep and as such is unacceptable on every level."

Moffett e-mailed an apology to students that read, in part, "Please understand, homophobic statements . . . and degrading comments about women are not (and never should be) part of the vernacular of a Man of Prep. For that, I am truly sorry."

Jabo said Moffett, who has coached at the school since 1998, "has done a lot of good for the school. There is not a string of poor judgment calls on his part. I think this is a lesson learned."