East Meadow superintendent of schools Louis DeAngelo said in a statement Friday that if star football player Billy Andrle wants to play, the East Meadow High School football team will welcome him back.

Andrle, who earned the Thorp Award as Nassau's top player last season, suffered a broken right wrist in late August. He said Thursday that when he told the team's coach, Vincent Mascia, that he would not be able to play this season, the coach told him not to return to the team.

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Andrle, a senior who plays linebacker and running back, decided not to play because his parents felt the risk of further injury was too great.

"Vincent Mascia was informed that Billy Andrle had been medically cleared to play football," DeAngelo said in a statement. "However, Billy's parents indicated that they did not want him to play due to the risk of further injury. The allegations that Billy was thrown off the team are false. If Billy and his parents change their minds, the district would certainly welcome him back to the playing field."

Calls to the Andrle family were not returned.