For many folks, the name Eddie McCluskey brings back a legend in Farrel sports known for his 7 championship wins.
Some of the people who played for him or worked with him believe he should be inducted into a national hall of fame.

But for many people he coached, and who are in the community his name is synonymous with a basketball coach they say had a dark side.

They add his wins do not undo the bad that he did nor the damage he did to kids and teens on teams he coached.

Brian K. Sanders traveled from Nevada to be at the school board meeting. McCluskey was his coach from the fifth grade until 1977.

Sanders said, "In my personal opinion he was a poor human being. He beat many kids, not corporal punishment like paddling or spanking like the state permitted, but punching, kicking, slapping, busting clipboards over 15 and 16-year-old guys' heads. He was a very dark guy. If you didn't do it his way he didn't like it."

"Other guys say he used the N-word. I did hear him use forms of racial slurs," emphasized Sanders.

"We want his name and likeness off of everything on the school property.  It causes PTSD for people he abused mentally and physically to drive by here and see his name on the high school gymnasium," said Sanders.

"He beat up black and white kids. It was known for many, many, many years, but it was always buried, always hushed. There are two councilmen who witnessed some of the abuse," added Sanders.

73-year-old Richard Chambers cried, as he asked Farrell School Board members, who tells a 16-year-old kid his own daddy and momma don't want him?

Chambers told how after the basketball slipped from his hands, during halftime, the coach smacked him in the face four or five times. And he told the board that Coach McCluskey kicked him in his office, and told him who are you going to tell,  your own momma and daddy don't want you your uncle and aunt are raising you.

"He beat me, he beat me, my lip swelled up," said Chambers.

Jasantah Mocabee said, "The black community has always kept the secret about the abuse some of the players sustained. Some of it did not go reported because of fear. Some were afraid of retaliation. It was not like now when people speak up about abuse."

William Dungee, who traveled from Pittsburgh to be here said, "When I was first out of school I never thought about it, ok, because I won a state championship 1971, 1972. You're hyped up, but as you get older on you reflect on those things and you say this guy was really bad. Mr. McCluskey was very abusive, we were playing Beaver Falls or somebody, he got super mad at me, so I am trying to explain to me what happened, and he slaps my face. Later he made the kids laugh at me. My friend told me McCluskey told them, I was no good, your yellow, and you stink."

For those who say that's the way coaches were back then in the '70s and '80s, and ask why to bring this out now, people here explain why now.

The answer is there is a move to push for a nomination to a national hall of fame which players say is adding insult to injury. They say like the statute of General E. Lee, the coach's name needs to come down from Farrell's high school.

The Farrell School Board told the crowd who wanted a motion to remove the coach's name from the school this evening, that they were unable to do that because of a law that took effect on August 28th.

The board explained they have received many letters in support of keeping the coach's name on the high school gymnasium. They will make their decision at a later date.

21 News will be requesting copies of all letters submitted to the board both for and against the removal of former coach Eddie McCluskey's name on the high school gymnasium.