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Sunday, April 5, 2015: Columnists wonder who's in charge these days

   Leading off today: Two reporters had approximately the same thoughts two days and about 85 miles apart in upstate New York last week.

   To summarize, you gotta love mom and dad, unless it's the mom and dad of one of the kids you coach. In that case, be afraid. Be very afraid.

   In Rochester, Jeff DiVeronica took the opportunity to link to some statistics that should remind parents that very few high school athletes earn the privilege of continuing their playing days in college, no matter how great their parents think they are.

   As DiVeronica reminds us, "One of the biggest problems in high school sports today is overbearing parents, the ones who just don't get it, the ones who snarl at moves by their kid's coach, who pick up the phone or fire an e-mail off to the A.D. saying their kid is getting the shaft, he or she needs more playing time."

   In Syracuse, Phil Blackwell followed up on the recent developments at Jamesville-DeWitt, where Bob McKenney was removed as boys basketball coach despite a resume that includes five New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

   "Who's in charge? And who should be?" Blackwell asked.

   "Once, it wasn't so difficult to answer. Coaches ran teams, and their word was generally accepted, both by the kids they coached, and by parents, too. True, athletic directors could change coaches at any time, but unless their behavior really got out of line, it tended not to happen.

   "Somewhere, that dynamic started to change. Once parents discovered that they could, if they wanted, bypass the AD and offer their concerns directly to the school board if they didn't like the way things were going, the power of coaches started to erode."

   Correction: Well, I certainly screwed that up.

   I've edited the previous blog in order to remove my note regarding the likely site for the 2015 and '16 Western semifinals in the NYSPHSAA football tournament. There was bad info floating around at the end of last week, and I repeated it.

   For the record, it was Cicero-North Syracuse, and not Union-Endicott, that received the support of the NYSPHSAA office and the football committee to replace Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester as host.

   The final decision will be placed in the hands of the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee at its May 1 meeting.

   I'll stand by my related note (for now, anyway): The rumor going around is that Sahlen's Stadium plans to spend money on a new locker room. Just remember, though that when all is said and done in Rochester, more is usually said than done.

   Following up: Middletown's mayor criticized schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Eastwood last week for spending almost $20,000 in district funds to investigate recruiting suspicions by the John S. Burke Catholic boys basketball team.

   Middletown spent $18,493.25 on an investigation by the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King, The Times Herald-Record reported after an inquiry to the Middletown school district under the Freedom of Information Act.


  • 2015 Federation basketball schedule
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  • 2015 NYSPHSAA girls basketball brackets
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  • N.Y. indoor track championships: Boys | Girls

  •    Burke Catholic is appealing Section 9's decision that improper recruiting did take place.

       "It's inappropriate to hire a law firm and spend almost $20,000 to investigate another school in Section 9 in these times when you are laying off teachers," Mayor Joe DeStefano said. "It's an example of poor use of taxpayers' money. I have no problem with Eastwood filing a complaint. I don't dispute the allegations or the findings. But I question spending $20,000 during a time when you are threatening to close schools."

       DeStefano and Eastwood have long had a combative relationship, the paper reported.

       Eastwood disclosed last week that Middletown faces a $5 million budget gap. The school board's tentative budget cuts call for closing an elementary school and laying off 33 teachers. In addition, three administrative positions and K-8 summer school are on the chopping block.

       Girls basketball reminder: Work is in progress on the girls basketball all-state team, which I'm editing this year. Media members and league chairmen should forward info to me via email by April 10.

       Reporters who have not already done so are asked to forward their all-area team, as well as any all-section, all-class or all-league teams. Please nominate players by class, also ranking players within the class. As has been the case recently, we will not be choosing players by position since roles are often so fluid on the basketball court.

       Extra points: Thomas Byrant, who left Rochester's Bishop Kearney after his sophomore season to attend Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, announced Saturday that he will enroll at Indiana University in the fall. That figures to be a significant boost to the Hoosiers basketball program.

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