McCann was fired after he refused to resign at the request of both Principal Dr. Dave Brennan and the Rev. Joseph Bongard, president of the school, in the wake of an investigation into an alleged hazing incident involving six seniors and one junior.

The 44-year-old McCann said he was asked to resign because the seven football players involved in the alleged hazing - which several sources have said occurred in the weight room during summer practices last August - were left unsupervised.

"This is absolutely incredible," McCann said later Friday. "I'm very disappointed in the way this thing was handled. It's gone full circle, everyone has made a big deal about it, and nothing has been done about it.

"(Brennan and Bongard) asked me to resign and I said I had no reason to resign, so if they wanted me out they'd have to fire me. They said being fired is something I wouldn't want to have happen, and that's when I told them both I didn't want to resign and have a lie follow me around. If I had resigned that would've led some people to believe I knew something happened and didn't do anything about it. But I didn't know anything ... nothing at all until it was brought to my attention for the first time (Wednesday, Oct. 6)."

Repeated attempts Friday afternoon and evening to reach Brennan and Bongard, who were reported to be in Philadelphia, were unsuccessful.

The Pius football team, meanwhile, is scheduled to play Lansdale Catholic tonight (7:30) at North Penn High School. McCann said assistant coach Madison Morton will be in charge of the Lions.

"I think it's so strange that I didn't know anything about this hazing right after it happened," McCann said. "And if what happened was so bad, as I believe it was, why did it take so long for anyone to come out with this?

"Since my first meeting (with Brennan and Bongard) just over a week ago, I've been told that some parents of our players knew about it the day after it happened and didn't say a thing about it. I don't know... but I'm getting the impression that it was more than one incident because it seems as though too much happened for it all to occur in one lunch period during our summer camp."

Seven of St. Pius' football players were dismissed from the team and suspended from school on Wednesday, Oct. 6, which Bongard confirmed three days later when the Lions lined up against Owen J. Roberts minus the seven players - all starters. Although Bongard wouldn't confirm the incident was a hazing he didn't deny it, either, stating that everyone has their own terminology for such behavior.

Several sources have said the hazing went well beyond what was reported late Friday night on WCAU-Channel 10 - that the victims had Icy Hot put in their athletic supporters and were struck with leather weight-lifting belts

And while no one was willing to go on record with the specifics of the other behavior, Lower Pottsgrove Township Police Chief Raymond Bechtel did say that his department was investigating and that players could face charges of involuntary deviate sexual assault.

Bongard said Pius' own investigation into the incident began last week and had hoped it would be finished by the middle of this week. As far as McCann was concerned, it was an over and done with issue because of a code of conduct form he has all players and parents sign right before the season begins.

"The first time I heard about this was that Wednesday (Oct. 6), and at that time (Brennan and Bongard) said they would need a statement from me and all my coaches the next day," McCann said. "The second time I heard anything more about this was (Friday), when I was asked to resign.

"Like I said, if I had known about this I would've taken care of it immediately."

McCann said he learned Friday that the junior allegedly involved in the incident was exonerated of any charges and reinstated on the football team, and that the other six seniors were told they could return to school Monday if they signed an admission of guilt form.

According to reports late Friday night, three seniors were reportedly going to sign the form and return to classes, while the other three have refused to sign the form and are looking into transferring to another school.

Meanwhile, McCann - a St. Pius graduate himself - will have to give up coaching for cheering the rest of the fall.

"This really hurts," he said. "I can't be everywhere every minute of the day I'm with that football team. And I'm not going to know every little thing that happens with that football team, either. As I said, I'm very disappointed the way the whole thing was handled."

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