In a blistering letter to administrators in the Colonial Conference, West Deptford High athletic director Jason Morrell on Monday accused Haddonfield High officials of a "lack of integrity" in handling a social-media incident involving West Deptford football coach Clyde Folsom.
Morrell wrote that Haddonfield displayed a "dismissive" attitude in reaction to the Facebook photo and posting accusing Folsom of using an obscene gesture during the Dec. 7 South Jersey Group 2 championship football game.
"My concern comes from the lack of integrity, lack of concern, lack of care and total dismissive stance that the Haddonfield High School administration has acted with throughout this process," Morrell said in a letter e-mailed to Colonial Conference officials and copied to members of the media on Monday morning.
In response, Haddonfield superintendent Richard Perry issued a statement that said he "reviewed the tape" of the incident and "reported my conclusions" to West Deptford superintendent Kevin Kitchenman.
Kitchenman did not respond Monday to a request for comment.
The firestorm erupted in response to the actions of a Haddonfield football parent, according to Morrell. The parent put a photo on Facebook of Folsom appearing to use an obscene gesture during the sectional championship game at Rowan University, Morrell said.
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 the players and coaches arrived at Rowan.
"Look at the leader. Disgrace!!" read the post, which has since has been removed from Facebook.
The photo was a screen capture from the video service "Hudl," which is used by most football programs in South Jersey.
Players from both Haddonfield and West Deptford - as well as coaches and athletes in most programs in South Jersey - are able to access the team's Hudl account to watch game films and create highlight tapes.
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 declined to comment.
Sterling athletic director Matt Sheehan, the president of the Colonial Conference, declined comment. Folsom and Haddonfield football coach Frank DeLano also have declined to comment.
On the video, Folsom appears to be raising his hand with one or two of his fingers extended after a kickoff return midway through the second quarter that was followed by pushing and shoving by players from both teams on the West Deptford sideline.
Folsom's gesture is unclear. Morrell said in an interview that the coach is using his fingers to beckon his players.
Haddonfield won the game, 27-0. The teams are among the fiercest rivals in South Jersey football, playing every year in the Colonial Conference and often meeting in the Group 2 playoffs as well.
In his letter, Morrell said the photo was "falsified" and said the incident "damaged [Folsom's] professional life, has impacted his personal life, and never once did anyone from Haddonfield apologize, make a statement or even acknowledge that damage had been done."
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.