With move up, Pembroke (N.H.) coming under fire

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
11:15
PM ET
In what some are calling an attempt to have Matt Alosa removed as Pembroke Academy’s boys basketball coach, the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Division I athletic directors and principals are not including Pembroke on next season’s Division I schedule.

Alosa has guided Pembroke to the last two Division II championships, but Pembroke successfully petitioned to move from Division II to Division I starting with the 2014-15 season. A group of Division I athletic directors met with Pembroke officials last month, and explained that the decision to not include Pembroke on the schedule stemmed from concerns about players transferring to Pembroke and recruiting allegations that have been directed at Alosa and the Pembroke program.

Last December the NHIAA ruled that two Pembroke players were ineligible because of “residency issues.” Both players transferred to Pembroke after the 2012-13 school year, and both played for the Granite State Raiders, a Concord-based AAU program run by Frank Alosa (Matt’s father).

“In my opinion it comes down to our coach, the coach’s father, the Granite State Raiders and the people who think they’re funneling players to our program,” Pembroke headmaster Mike Reardon said. “In the meeting (last month) I said, ‘Let me ask you. Given our situation what would you do?’ I had an AD tell me: ‘You need to fire Matt Alosa.’

“Matt is not only an outstanding basketball coach, Matt has conducted himself in exemplary fashion. Could something be going on that I’m not aware of? Absolutely. But we don’t have that information. We never have. If I had anything to act on I would act on it instantaneously.”

Alosa was a standout player at Pembroke who later played at Providence College and the University of New Hampshire. He became Pembroke’s coach in 2006, and has guided the Spartans to a 49-1 record during the past two seasons.

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Matt Alosa said. “I haven’t recruited anybody. I’ve done nothing but my best to help the kids of Pembroke.

“We had two players suspended and they paid their penalty. We were allowed to petition to Division I. I don’t understand how we can have an elite program and not be allowed to play (in Division I)? Because of a few false allegations? It’s unjust stuff.

“This is unprecedented, but I can tell you Pembroke isn’t going to cancel the basketball season.”

According to Pinkerton Academy athletic director Tim Powers, Pembroke was told it would be allowed to compete in Division I next season if it presented a plan that would prevent players from transferring to Pembroke for primarily basketball reasons. Pembroke came up with a plan, but the Division I athletic directors and principals deemed it unsatisfactory.

“They submitted a plan, but we still had concerns and told them we were going to move forward with the schedule without them,” Powers said. “I don’t know what their next step will be. We just want to make sure we all abide by the same rules.”

Both Powers and Reardon said a return to Division II is not an option for Pembroke. The Spartans could play out-of-state opponents, but to be eligible to compete for an NHIAA championship a team must play at least 50 percent of its games against New Hampshire opponents.

“I think the concerns are that Matt Alosa is the coach,” Reardon said. “If he’s gone we’ll probably get a (Division I) schedule. If he stays, no schedule.

“I’m not going to terminate someone’s employment based on innuendo and rumor.”

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