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With State Title Game Set For Sunday, New Rochelle High Football Still Waiting On Coach's Status

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- There is still no resolution to the coach controversy in New Rochelle.

The high school's legendary football coach remains sidelined by an investigation. He has missed two playoff games, and could now miss Sunday's state championship, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Monday.

Coach Lou DiRienzo huddled all day with lawyers at the school board central office and left just before 4 p.m., with his future apparently unresolved.

"There's been some developments, but we're not at liberty to share them right now, and we're hopeful there will be a resolution shortly," said Michael Del Piano, DiRienzo's attorney.

Lou DiRienzo
(Photo: CBS2)

When asked if he's going to coach Sunday when undefeated New Rochelle (12-0) takes on McQuaid Jesuit of Rochester at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in the Class AA title game, DiRienzo said, "I have no idea, but I have no comment right now. Thank you."

DiRienzo was reassigned from coaching duties on Nov. 13 after allegedly violating protocol at the high school. Sources told Aiello that DiRienzo intervened with a disciplinary situation involving a student who is related to his family.

The investigation into the situation has dragged on because, as CBS2 has learned, additional concerns were raised that also required investigation.

Even without DiRienzo, who has won two state crowns in 28 years as head coach, the team's epic season has continued. Assistant coaches took over and guided the Hugenots to wins over Utica Proctor in the regionals and Shenendehowa of Albany in the state semifinals.

Players told Aiello their absent coach is motivating their relentless drive.

"Coach D will always be with us spiritually no matter where we're at, always in life. He has instilled so much," Jessie Parson said.

Parents have rallied to support the coach and criticize the way his case has been handled.

The school district's new superintendent, Dr. Laura Feijoo, has defended her actions, saying when a teacher is reassigned the community should be informed. She's urging upset parents to be patient as the investigation unfolds.

The school board is holding a special meeting Monday night. Members will go behind closed doors into executive session to discuss the coaching controversy. No final decision on DiRienzo's status is expected before Tuesday.

The football team is expected to leave for Syracuse after Thanksgiving.

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