NJSIAA suspends Paramus Catholic football coach Greg Russo … – NorthJersey.com

ROBBINSVILLE – The NJSIAA executive committee amended the controversies committee’s punishments against Paramus Catholic for recruiting, suspending Paladins head coach Greg Russo for the first four games of next season and suspending assistant coach Christian Maldonado until the end of the school’s probationary period.
Last month, the controversies committee suspended the Paramus Catholic football program from this year’s postseason and placed the program on probation for two years.
In an unprecedented move, Belleville High School appealed the controversies committee’s decision at Wednesday’s meeting, believing that the punishments against Paramus Catholic were too lenient after it was found guilty of recruiting a Belleville football player using texts and possible cash inducements.
In matters like this, an appeal can be made to the executive committee for a final verdict.
The executive committee heard from both sides, then went into executive session for almost an hour. They had the options to affirm, reverse or modify the decision, and chose to increase the punishment, citing a “lack of institutional control.”
Lawyers representing both schools were present and made arguments. The attorney for Belleville told the executive committee that it was telling that Paramus Catholic wasn’t appealing the decision. He said the punishment “only hurt the current players and had a minimal impact on head coach Greg Russo and assistant Christian Maldonado.”
He implied that Paramus Catholic did not put together a credible defense and admitted a student with a 1.8 GPA on educational merit while saying it didn’t know he was a standout football player.
Brian Fenlon, an attorney representing Paramus Catholic, said that the school had already demonstrated contrition for its misconduct and that the punishment was commensurate with the issue the controversies committee had discussed.
Russo is in his first season as head coach at Paramus Catholic after serving as an assistant coach with the Paladins, then leading Northern Highlands.
READ MORE:Archdiocese responds to allegations of illegal recruiting at Paramus Catholic


Leave a Comment