Bellport Superintendent Joe Cipp, Jr. arrives for the board's executive...

Bellport Superintendent Joe Cipp, Jr. arrives for the board's executive session. (March 7, 2012) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The South Country Central School Board met for three hours behind closed doors Sunday night, but announced no action in connection with grade-fixing allegations at Bellport High School.

More than 40 people attended the special meeting at the district's South Haven School in hopes of hearing a decision on the future of Superintendent Joseph Cipp Jr. and other administrators who are accused by a former principal of helping alter the grades of a star football player.

But following the executive session, board president Victor Correa would not comment on the controversy over Cipp, saying only that the board had discussed "a very important personnel matter" and would have its regularly scheduled board meeting Wednesday.

The meeting came 10 days after the school board promised swift response to the findings of a confidential report on the grade-fixing allegations.

Former Bellport High School principal Kevin O'Connell has sued the district, alleging Cipp fired him after O'Connell refused to change a star football player's grades. The player, Ryan Sloan, won an athletic scholarship last year to Syracuse University.

A preliminary report by Bronwyn Black, the Melville attorney hired by the school board, said it was "clear that Ryan Sloan's grades were improperly changed at the direction of the administration" and that Cipp "must have been involved or must have known what was going on."

Cipp has repeatedly denied involvement in changing Sloan's grades. Sloan and his former guardians have said the student athlete improved his math scores -- meeting NCAA standards -- through hard work.

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