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Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014: Remember, don't be a twerp when you tweet

   Leading off today: Judging by some recent comments from very important people in the world of college football, we're well beyond the point where college coaches are willing to give the ol' "Aw, shucks" brushoff to boneheaded behavior by recruits.

   You say you don't buy that? Check these stories out:

    • Georgia coach Mark Richt confirmed at the SEC media day that he dropped a commitment from the Bulldogs' 2014 recruiting class because of he persistently posted offensive material on social media sites.

   "We told (the kid and) we told his coach we don't condone that, and he was a guy who was already committed to Georgia," Richt said. And he persisted. Well, actually he changed his (Twitter) handle and continued to do that kind of thing thinking we wouldn't find out. And we found out about it, and we cut him.

   "We rescinded that offer to him, because if he's not going to do what we say to do at that point then what's going to make us feel like he's going to do it when he gets here?"

    • Last week, Penn State assistant coach Herb Hand tweeted this: "Dropped another prospect this AM due to his social media presence...Actually glad I got to see the 'real' person before we offered him."

    Hand later elaborated in an interview.

    "If a guy makes the decision to post or RT stuff that degrades women, references drug use or cyber-bullying crap, then I can make the decision to drop them," he said. "Especially if I have discussed it with them prior, and especially in today's climate of athletics."

    • Florida coach Will Muschamp says one of his former college players likely dropped out of the first round of an NFL Draft because of something he tweeted ahead of an interview with a team that was interested in selecting him.

   "The general manager called me and said, 'What's the deal with this guy?' Muschamp said. "It ended up, he was a defensive tackle that got drafted in the second round as opposed to end of the first round which the team that called me took a defensive tackle, probably because of the tweet and some of the things the organization had just been through and they didn't want to go down that road again."

    "It cost him about $3.5 million based on where he was picked."

   The bottom line?

   Every time a Division I program signs a player to a scholarship, the coach is making a commitment that can exceed $250,000 over five years. In a sense, a Division III coach who has little more to offer but need-based financial aid has even more at stake, because it's easier for a school to eat his relatively piddly contract if he must be held accountable for what one of his players does.

   With NCAA rules on how much time a coach can interact with a recruit and the myriad of other demands on his time, they become less inclined to waste time on a potential headache with every passing day.

   Change of plans: Call it a case of two steps forward and one step back for Western New York high school football. Just two weeks after the announcement touting the inaugural Section 6 Kick-Off Classic classic, the planned tripleheader will have to move out of Ralph Wilson Stadium and may be scrapped altogether, Time Warner Cable News reported Tuesday.

   Section 6 football coordinator Ken Stoldt told the news channel the Buffalo Bills notified him that ongoing work at the NFL stadium will make it impossible to hold the planned Sept. 5 tripleheader there.

   "I am not sure at this time if we will be able to run it at another venue," he said in an email. "We are all greatly disappointed."

   The affected matchups are Buffalo's Hutch-Tech vs. South Park, Lockport vs. Lancaster and Iroquois vs. West Seneca East.

   Good reading: There were a couple of especially well-done pieces of reading from upstate papers over the weekend, each worthy of a few minutes of your time.

  
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   First, Bucky Gleason of The Buffalo News wrote about Tom Kacalski following the former Lackawanna boys soccer coach's death last week at the age of 43 from what doctors suspect was a bacterial infection.

   Kacalski took on one of the most thankless jobs in recent New York State high school history in 2007. The Lackawanna team's reputation for dirty play and disrespect for officials dovetailed with community distrust of the substantial local Yemeni population around the time of the Lackawanna Six prosecution and made the soccer team a Section 6 outcast.

   "This guy brought them together," said Rich Kozak, a Lackawanna native and one of the coach's closest friends. "Parents weren't allowing their kids to play for a white guy. One by one, the kids came around. They saw that he knew what he was doing."

   All Kacalski did was to coach Lackawanna to three division titles and two ECIC team sportsmanship awards before leaving in 2013 to be an assistant coach at Daemen College. He had been hired to coach at Frontier this fall.

   Wrote Gleason: "His death notice will say he had three children, but really he had thousands when all of his students and players are added up. His former students and players are professionals and parents and coaches and mentors. One of the nurses who took care of him at Mercy Hospital was a former student.

   "His family should take comfort knowing the depth of his influence and the reach of his branches."

   The other story was a feature on Section 3 pitcher Jeff Belge by Donnie Webb of The Post-Standard.

   Belge, a rising junior at Henninger High, is a hot professional prospect because that's what happens when you a 6-foot-4 lefty who throws 94 mph. He struck out 87 batters in just under 47 innings this spring and recently threw career no-hitter No. 1 in summer-league action.

   The thing is, though, that Belge has been nearly blind in his right eye for seven years, the result of being hit by a stray rock.

   "It's not really been an issue," Belge said. "People know about it but don't say anything about it. I try not to think about it anymore. Every once I'll go back and think about it. I just try and stay away from it."

   In sectionals in May, Belge struck out 21 of 24 West Genesee batters over eight innings before being pulled by coach Mike Meola.

   "It's the most dominating performance I've ever seen,” said West Genny coach Kevin Krause, who was once drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. "He could've pitched at any level of baseball that day including professional with the stuff he had and the location he had. He was as good as it gets."


  
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