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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014: Ex-NY stars caught up in transcript scandal

   Leading off today: Florida A&M has yanked full scholarships from two former New York boys high school basketball standouts who attended Westchester Community College, where an assistant coach has been fired amid a criminal investigation into transcript fraud, The Journal News reported.

   FAMU, already banned from postseason play by the NCAA because of academic performance issues, withdrew the scholarships of Jamell Walker, a former standout at Mount Vernon, and Damien Davis, a sought-after player from Wings Academy in the Bronx, the school told the paper. Both were dropped from the roster Thursday.

   Westchester CC assistant coach Richard Fields was fired Oct. 16 after admitting he provided a phony transcript for Walker and forged the signature of an administrator on an eligibility form for Walker, said WCC spokesman Pat Hennessey.

   "He manufactured a fake transcript," Hennessey said of Fields. "Jamell took one course here. The transcript said he earned a full degree and graduated."

   Hennessey confirmed that the New York State Office of the Inspector General is aware of the situation. "No criminal charges have yet been filed," he said.

   Fields denied meeting with WCC officials, being fired or knowing anything about transcript fraud allegations. Walker graduated from Mount Vernon in 2012 after leading the Knights to their sixth consecutive Section 1 Class AA championship.

   Busy day: Your Friday wasn't nearly as action-packed as Zach Kolodny's Friday.

   In the afternoon, Kolodny helped the Farmingdale boys soccer team defeat Uniondale 1-0 in the first round of the Section 8 Class AA tournament. In the evening, Kolodny made a 38-yard field goal with 16 seconds left for the Dalers in a 15-14 football win over MacArthur to cap off the homecoming game.

   Earlier in the football game, he had a punt and extra point blocked. Trailing late, Farmingdale drove 61 yards in 2:36 to the MacArthur 21.

   Speaking of late drama: Yorktown, ranked ninth in the state in Class A, kept its perfect season alive by beating Nyack 28-21 in the Section a Class A quarterfinals on Tim Forbes' touchdown run with :29 seconds to play.

   "Seven-and-oh didn't mean anything right now," junior Nick Santavicca, who carried 22 times for 110 yards and two scores, told The Journal News. "We're in a new season, and right now we're 1-0."

   Santavicca's 11-yard run on the 40-yard drive was the final play before Forbes' 1-yard scoring run.

   Put your rally helmets on: Hamburg rallied from deficits of 21-3, 27-9 and 34-24 in the Section 6 Class A quarterfinals to score a 40-34 overtime win vs. Williamsville South. football site

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   Hamburg tied the game as time expired with a 37-yard field goal by junior Jason Shuttleworth. After Hamburg's defense forced a four-and-out to start overtime, Hamburg senior Mitchell Gomolka (218 rushing yards) scored on a 2-yard run.

   Section 9 action: Washingtonville (3-4) built a two-score lead and never trailed en route to a 24-7 win over Monroe-Woodbury, the state's eighth-ranked Class AA team, in a regular-season game. QB Joe Tecklenburg ran for 203 yards with touchdown carries of 59 and 2 yards plus a 42-yard TD pass to tight end Keith Leonard.

   No. 25 Newburgh held off Middletown 39-30 as Anthony Dubose rushed for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Middletown took its first lead at 24-21 late in the third quarter and was ahead 30-28 with 9:28 to go.

   Under investigation: Police are investigating a fire Thursday morning in an equipment shed at Wyandanch High School as a possible arson, Newsday reported. The blaze in a cement shed behind the bleachers destroyed a large amount of equipment used by the football and track teams, including practice dummies, balls and an equipment wagon.

   It caps a tough string of events for the school. Last week, a man was arrested and charged in the stabbing of two teens behind the bleachers after the Warriors' homecoming game. Before that, a total of five football players were suspended amid allegations of "bullying pranks" in the locker room.

   Reasonable observation: I found this nugget in Greg Brownell's daily roundup of girls soccer highlights from around the Glens Falls area:

   "You will never see the term 'sudden victory' used in this blog. To me it's an unfortunate result of political correctness. It's the game that dies, not the people."

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