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Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013: Justified firing, premature recruitment and more

   Leading off today: I scarcely know where to begin. I mean, I've been dishing up blogs at a pretty brisk pace in the first month of the 2013-14 high school sports season. But when I opened my "leftovers" file this morning, the stack of blog ideas was at near-record levels.

   Alas, time is short today. So let's start with two quick thoughts and then move on to some meatier topics. I'll save the rest for another day.

   (1) Paul Pasqualoni is a mostly decent human being and he runs a squeaky-clean shop wherever he goes. But he has no business coaching major-college football, which UConn athletic officials acknowledged Monday by firing him after an 0-4 start.

   The development will ripple across New York in the coming months and years, though, because Pasqualoni recruited New York with enthusiasm. Rochester East's Justin Noye is the only current senior known to have committed to the Huskies, but four signed letters of intent last February: Folorunso Fatukasi (Beach Channel), Jordan Fuchs (Christ the King), Tommy Hopkins (Westlake) and Cameron Stapleton (Poly Prep).

   Geography and demographics demand that the next UConn coach pays some attention to New York, but the loss of Pasqualoni is likely a net loss for New York football.

   (2) While I congratulate Bronxville attackman/middie Ara Atayan -- by all accounts fairly mature for his age -- for making a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina over the weekend, I condemn college lacrosse and the NCAA without reservation. A high school freshman has no business making his college choice this early, and NCAA coaches have no business making even indirect contact with someone that young.

   “I met with (UNC Head) Coach (Joe) Breschi and the other (UNC) coaches yesterday,” Atayan told LaxLessons.com. “They offered me a spot on the squad, and after talking to my parents and thinking it over, I accepted this morning.

   Following up: The Rochester City School District's manipulation of the new consolidated programs rule has been reeled in a tad following a meeting of the Section 5 Executive Committee last month.

   District AD Carlos Cotto was summoned to explain how the RCSD calculated its numbers for a handful of buildings that consist of multiples "schools" within schools. After looking at the new numbers derived from the NYSPHSAA graduated scale that went into effect this month, I have minimal confidence that the RCSD actually knows where all of its schools are let alone where all of its students are -- hey, it's hard to keep track of pesky information like that on an itty-bitty $700 million annual budget -- but some of the numbers now almost start making sense.

   The aberration that was the Northeast/Northwest College Prep team last season is now just Northeast Prep for sports purposes, with 100 percent of both schools counted as a single entity -- which is exactly how two schools in one complex on the same plot of land should be treated -- and the BEDS number surging from 366 to 534. That moves the basketball team from Class B to A.

   The old Marshall High, currently known to some as All-City and to others as -- curiously -- Dr. Freddie Thomas (even though that was a separate school in a whole different neighborhood in the past) has gone from 410 students to 732 in the snap of a finger, thus climbing one rung to Class A.

   Now, the bad news: The two biggest farces remain unaffected.

   Edison Tech had its BEDS number raised from 736 to 846, which keeps the school comfortably in Class A after being a large Class AA basketball team last season.

  
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Franklin goes from 305 students to 370, still easily in Class B after playing as a fairly large Class A a year ago. Smart people insist to me that the enrollment number (essentially a head count for grades 9-11) for each would be at least 30 or 40 percent higher if the graduated scale wasn't used.

   The two-year trial of the graduated scale was approved by a fairly narrow margin at the state level. If the rule gets rescinded at the end of the trial, you'll be able to thank the RCSD.

   Voting in progress: USA Today launched its "Best High School Football Coach" contest on Monday, asking visitors to the website to pick from among eight nominees in each state.

   The 51 winners of state (and District of Columbia) voting move on to regional voting, followed by national balloting. The athletic department of the winning coach will receive $2,000. Second through fifth places also receive cash prizes for the athletic departments.

   The eight New York candidates are:

  • Joe Casamento, Syracuse CBA
  • Tony DeMatteo, Somers
  • Lou DiRienzo, New Rochelle
  • John Faller, Sweet Home
  • Tom Flatley, Garden City
  • Jim Hoover, Walton
  • Rich Reichert, St. Anthony's
  • Gene Tundo, Orchard Park
   Care to help? As you may know, we ended publication of the weekly New York State Sportswriters Association newsletter in the summer of 2012. Most of the membership fee went to cover the cost of the 46-50 newsletters per year, but what was left after printing and postage helped defray other expenses.

   Now, online advertising covers the expense of providing rankings, news and reference material to readers of NewYorkSportswriters.org and its related sites such as RoadToSyracuse.com.

   if you enjoy our content and feel inclined to help with a small contribution, we do maintain a page that allows payments via PayPal transfers and encourage you to check it out.

   Extra points: There was a fairly ugly fight in this weekend's Peru vs. Beekmantown football game, with State Troopers stepping in to help break it up.


  
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