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Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012: Pink uniforms result in technical foul

   Leading off today: Not that there isn't the usual quota news from New York to deal with, but today's feeling like a national kind of day on the New York State Sportswriters Association blog:

   'T' for travesty: The Omaha (Neb.) Burke High girls basketball team was assessed a technical foul in Monday's game for wearing pink uniforms in support of a Make-A-Wish fundraiser.

   With Burke leading by a point at halftime, Columbus High coach Dave Licari asked the referees whether Burke was in violation of a National Federation rule requiring home teams to wear white after his AD raised the question. If the officials were inclined to otherwise look the other way over the infraction, they then had no choice but to T up the host school.

   Columbus ended up going on to a 62-47 win.

   "We had good intentions, but we made a mistake, and then there were consequences," Burke AD Kyle Rohrig told the (Omaha) World-Herald.

   Grayshirting debacle: took a look today at the frequently ugly practice of grayshirting, a tackle particularly popular with Division I football coaches and most definitely on the rise and many areas of the country.

   Grayshirting describes a situation in which a school forces one or more of its recruits to wait until January to enroll in college because it has used all of its available scholarships to bring other players onto campus in the preceding fall semester.

   Often times, the player isn't informed until just days before National Letter of Intent day in February that he will be required to wait. That leaves precious little time for a prospect to switch to his "backup" school, especially if his verbal commitment came so long ago that he barely participated in the typical recruiting process with other schools.

   Read the story and you'll see that one of the best known and most successful coaches in the country doesn't come out looking too good.

   Football rule changes approved: High school football players must sit out a play if their helmet comes off while the ball is live beginning this fall, the National Federation announced Thursday. The rule applies when the helmet comes off completely without it being the result of a foul by the opponent.

   It was one of eight rules changes approved by the football rules committee at its meeting in Indianapolis Jan. 20-22.

   A committee representative said the objective of the helmet rule is to emphasize to schools the need to properly fit players with helmets.

   Perhaps the most significant rule change will change what constitutes a legal catch. Receivers will be required to establish possession and get a foot down inbounds while maintaining possession regardless of the opponentís action. That ends the need for officials to determine whether a "forceout" was responsible for the receiver not coming down inbounds.

   In a measure clearly aimed at safety on onside kicks, the kicking team can no longer initiate contact against members of the receiving team until the ball has broken

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the plane of the receiving teamís restraining line unless the receiving team has already touched the ball.

   McDonald's All-American Game rosters: Jamesville-DeWitt's Dajuan Coleman was the only New York boy selected Thursday for the 35th annual McDonald's All-American Game. The event is scheduled for March 28 at the United Center in Chicago and be broadcast live by ESPN.

   Another Section 3 star, Cicero-North Syracuse's Breanna Stewart, was selected to the roster for the girls game. She will be goined on the East team by Nazareth guard Brianna Butler.

   Complete rosters here.

   Stewart also made the roster for the 21st annual Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America Game presented by NIKE on March 31 in Denver.

   PSAL team docked 11 wins: Eagle Academy, ranked 10th in Class AA this week by the NYSSWA, will have to surrender 11 boys basketball wins because the lineup apparently included a fifth-year player, sources told The New York Post.

   The Eagles, seeded third in the Bronx borough playoffs, saw their PSAL record drop to 3-13 and overall mark to 5-13. Point guard Gerard Carty, averaging seven points and five assists, was deactivated Jan. 18. Though he only played four seasons after basketball, it is believed Carty entered ninth grade in September 2007.

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