Leading off today:
The reigning Section 8 football player of the year says he was unfairly kicked off the East Meadow team after suffering an injury days before the season started, Newsday reported this week.
Billy Andrle, a first-team all-state running back last fall who won the Nassau County Thorp Award, broke his right wrist during an August practice.
"If I could play tomorrow, I would," Andrle told the newspaper. "But my mom doesn't want me to risk permanent injury and that makes sense."
Donna Andrle said doctors suggested fitting her son with a cast that would allow him to play. However, she vetoed the idea because of the risk of additional damage in his role as a running back and linebacker.
Andrle says that when he informed coach Vinny Mascia that he could not play, Mascia told him not to return to the team.
"Coach Mascia sat me down in the gym and asked me if my decision not to play was final and I said, 'Yes,'" Andrle said. "He told me to clean out my locker and don't come to practice anymore because you can find better things to do with your time. I was crushed."
Attorney Tom Liotti said he planned to file a notice of claim against East Meadow school officials on behalf of the player. "He was not treated with the honor and respect that a top athlete deserves," Liotti said. "It's not the way you treat a star. This damages his reputation and prospects for college. They called him a quitter."
East Meadow Superintendent Louis DeAngelo said in a statement Friday that the football team would welcome Andrle back if he wants to play.
New details: Oscar Jensen's sudden dismissal as the Marcellus cross country coach this week apparently stemmed from at least one runner starting practice in August without the proper medical forms in place, The Post-Standard reported.
The paper cited sources who confirmed that Jensen was let go at least in part because of the paperwork issue. One source said school officials self-reported the infraction to Section 3 and no penalties beyond a censure resulted.
Heading to court: A fairly interesting case has landed on Friday's docket for State Supreme Court in Rochester. Unless she's granted relief by Justice Thomas Stander, Davidson College girls basketball recruit Diona Johnson's scholastic career likely will be over.
Johnson, a 5-foot-9 shooting guard, averaged about 18 points a game last winter while helping Gates Chili to a Section 5 Class AA championship and an appearance in the NYSPHSAA title game against Ossining. Given that she was listed as a junior and had turned 17 years old less than a month before the state final, the natural expectaton was that Johnson would be back this winter for an encore.
Now, though, that's to be hashed out by Stander following arguments by attorneys for Johnson, Section 5 and the NYSPHSAA. Here's the background:
As an eighth-grader at Churchville-Chili in 2008, Johnson went through the selective classification process, which allowed her to move up to play on the junior varsity. By season's end, she also played for the varsity.