Leading off today:
The scorecard shows at least two New York high school coaches have lost their positions this school year after someone used the "B" word (that's "bullying," for the uninitiated out there).
Kerry Bennett was dropped as softball coach at Cicero-North Syracuse, where he won four NYSPHSAA championships and more than 600 games, accused of mistreating a player who abandoned her team the day of the state final in order to attend her prom.
At Williamsville South, a parent accused boys basketball Al Monaco, a 300-game winner and also widely respected by his peers, of abusive language towards his son. It cost Monaco two coaching positions even though evidence suggests the real issue may have been related to Monaco promoting players to the varsity for the sectional tournament while bypassing older teammates.
And now we may have the grand daddy of them all -- a coach disciplined for refusing to bully his players. That's right, it appears Tim Paske has been placed on indefinite suspension from the Greene High football program because he did not force his players to march in a homecoming parade two hours before their game vs. Newark Valley, boosters told Southern Tier media outlets Wednesday.
Superintendent Jonathan Retz would not provide specifics on the cause of the disciplinary action, but confirmed Paske is done for the season. During the public comment session of a regularly schedule school board meeting, numerous parents said they wanted Paske reinstated.
Several people in attendance told media outlets the parade was the issue.
"It was a big hullabaloo Friday night," Tina Gilmore told WBNG-TV. "There were some comments around town that people were upset about the varsity players not walking in the parade."
Players said they voted not to participate in the parade after Paske, 57-32 since 2003 as the coach, gave them the option.
"He said I want you guys to walk in the parade, but he said it's an hour before our game, or an hour before warm ups, and he said if you don't want to walk two miles and be tired, then let me know," co-captain Cole Browning recalled.
If Browning's account is accurate, it certainly sounds as though Paske was steering players away from marching. However, that doesn't seem to be an unreasonable stance since it would have consumed a minimum of half an hour and perhaps as much as an hour of players' time shortly before the game.
I know marching in parades is pretty much expected of citizens in North Korea, but the last time I looked homecoming was an extracurricular activity rather than a mandatory part of the school day.
Dave Gorton was appointed interim head coach for Greene, which is 4-2 in Class C this fall heading into Saturday's game at Whitney Point and the regular-season finale vs. Norwich.
Strictly by the book: Two rulings regarding athletes on the east side of the state have attracted a bit of curiosity this month. One went in favor of the player and seems to stem from a rule applied correctly and appropriately (which aren't always one in the same). The other ruling went against the player and seems to abide by the letter of the rule, but perhaps not the spirit.
First, there's Paul Hanna's situation as reported on by The Post-Star.
Hanna began the season playing football for Granville, but the senior was in uniform for Whitehall last weekend against Lake George. He scored a late TD in that 40-30 loss.
According to the paper, Hanna's transfer was OK under the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's hardship exemption to the transfer rule. The exemption allows a one-time transfer without penalty for reasons of hardship.
Sources told the paper that Hanna had been living with friends while attending Granville, but recently moved in with his grandfather in Whitehall, necessitating the transfer. School and sectional officials reviewed the underlying circumstances and determined it was appropriate to grant the hardship waiver.
Hanna did not practice with Whitehall while awaiting for the decision to come down. Once green-lighted on Oct. 4, though, he was eligible to play immediately because he already had participated in 15 practices this fall.
Meanwhile, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported that an eligibility ruling has gone against a boys soccer player, costing him the remainder of the season and causing Our Lady of Lourdes to forfeit a pair of victories.
According to the paper, exchange student Ki Rang Lee was benched by Section 1 and state officials for the remainder of the season because he lives with Warriors coach Matt Schlottmann.
Let me say this loud and clear: I think the rule barring an exchange student from residing with his coach is a good one. I've seen blatant manipulations of exchange programs over the years -- including one where a regional program coordinator (a coach, by the way) was steering the athletically inclined applicants into his school while musicians and aspiring neurosurgeons wound up in other districts -- so the housing rule is a no-brainer.