Leading off today:
As I've stated several times in past blogs, I've decided that we'll never allow bulletin boards or reader comment sections on story pages here unless and until someone develops the technology that requires participants to register with their real name and contact information.
The reason is simple: People who are able to hide behind a screen name get awfully brave with respect to talking trash and making unsubstantiated allegations. In short, such forums invariable disintegrate into an intellectual cesspool.
On the other hand, the passion displayed in some of these threads when the topic is a raging community controversy can be utterly fascinating -- particularly when the two sides are at polar extremes and there is little or no commentary by people seeking middle ground.
One such example is the continued debate over the dismissal of Cicero-North Syracuse softball coach Kerry Bennett, who has rolled up 600 victories and four NYSPHSAA championships in 30 seasons on the job. (Read Thursday's blog on the firing here.)
As of mid-morning Tuesday, more than 120 comments had been logged beneath The Post-Standard's follow-up story in which numerous past C-NS players spoke up in support on Bennett, who apparently was done in by one vocal player parent appearing before the school board.
If the passion doesn't die down quickly -- a Facebook page launched in Bennett's support this week already has more than 200 followers -- Monday's regularly scheduled school board meeting at the district offices could be the must-attend event of the month in Central New York if the New York State Fair isn't your cup of tea. The board, in all likelihood, will hide behind the shield of not discussing personnel decisions in public, but the public comment portion of the meeting has the potential to be epic with respect to emotion.
Awkwardness in Florida: Upon further review, Florida's Class 6A state football championship game never really happened.
That's the de facto result of two investigations by the Florida High School Athletic Association in the aftermath of Seffner, Fla., Armwood's now-you-see-it, now-you-don't, 40-31 win over Miami Central.
First, the FHSAA determined Armwood had to forfeit 14 wins and have its title vacated because of multiple ineligible players on its roster last season. Now, the FHSAA says Miami Central QB Austin Stock (currently attending Division II California University in Pennsylvania) was not eligible last season either. The FHSAA ruled Stock's transfer from Parkland, Fla., Douglas was in essence a sham.
"It's as if the game never happened," FHSAA spokesman Corey Sobers told USA Today.
Schedule changes: Most of the Section 5 football teams left with byes when Geneva DeSales officials closed the school this month have found new opponents, The Daily Messenger reported.
Red Jacket will host varsity newbie Rochester Prep Charter School on Sept. 1, Mynderse hosts Nichols on Sept. 7, Marcus Whitman will host Union Springs Sept. 28 and Clyde-Savannah plays Watervliet in Week 7.
The paper reports Lyons may schedule Chatham and South Seneca is trying to pick up a game vs. Coxsackie-Athens. Dundee is waiting on the fate of Elmira Height Edison; if the Section 4 school cannot field a team, Waverly would be in need of a game.
Saratoga's Waldron dies: Former Saratoga Springs coach and AD Ray Waldron died on Friday at age 80.
Waldron joined the district as a physical education teacher in 1958 and later became AD during a time in which the number of varsity sports grew from eight to 30 over a quarter of a century.
“He was a huge influence in building the athletic program,” current AD Peter Sheehan told The Saratogian.