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Friday, April 10, 2015: District tells boosters to stop selling Chiefs merchandise

   Leading off today: Reacting to the possibility of being sued under the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Southern Cayuga Central School District has told boosters to stop selling merchandise that displays a Chiefs logo, The Citizen reported Thursday.

   The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization, notified the district March 10 it would file a federal lawsuit against Southern Cayuga for "perpetrating continued illegal and discriminatory mascot names, images and behaviors of the Chiefs."

   NCARSM asserted that a T-shirt featuring a Chiefs logo violated the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. NCARSM President David Glass wrote in the letter to the school district that "despite ample education and time to remedy" the alleged violation, the district has "deliberately chosen to continue your illegal practice of restoring the Chiefs mascot."

   District Superintendent Patrick Jensen responded to the letter on April 1, noting that the T-shirt was sold by Southern Cayuga Sports Boosters, an independent sports booster club. In the letter to NCARSM, he said the district ordered the sports booster club to cease the sale of "clothing items with a Chief mascot image on our campus." He also said the board of education has referred the issue to the district's policy committee to draft formal guidelines for a school mascot.

   Southern Cayuga changed logos in 2008 but retained the Chiefs nickname, the paper reported. The logo on the district's website features an interlocked "S" and "C," with no reference to the Chiefs name. The website links to an apparel vendor page that sells items that feature a Chiefs logo with a man in a traditional Native American headdress.

   Hurley leaves UB: Thursday's blog included a quote from a New Jersey reporter: "This is how the world works now."

   The statement was in the context of a development in high school sports, but I think we could find at least one development per day at the high school, college and professional levels that would compel us to utter those same words.

   Today's example comes in the form of Bobby Hurley's departure late Thursday afternoon from his job as men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo to accept a similar job at Arizona State.

   It was inevitable that UB would lose Hurley soon. UB is not a "destination" school, and Hurley, 43, almost certainly has a few more moves up the ladder in him if he keeps winning. He could eventually make the short list at Duke when Mike Krzyzewski decides to call it a career.

   I can't fault Hurley for leaving Buffalo. Going west triples or quadruples his salary and moves him into the Pac-12 and real major-conference basketball. The problem I do have with him though brings us back to "This is how the world works now."

   Hurley, 42-20 in two seasons at UB, already had a couple of bites at the climb-a-rung-on-the-coaching-ladder merry-go-round (Sorry for the somewhat mixed metaphor there, but you get the idea.) this spring. He was regarded as a contender to fill vacancies at St. John's and DePaul.

   But when those schools opted to go in a different direction and there didn't seem to be any other intriguing options on the hozizon, it sure sounded as though Hurley committed to returning to UB for a third season. "My heart is here in Buffalo with this group of kids I'm coaching and that's what I plan on doing moving forward," Hurley said in an interview with ESPN's Colin Cowherd last week.

   Then and now, his words reminded me of another quote that can be trotted out quite appropriately on a regular basis: "Sincerity leads to success. Once you learn to fake that, the world is yours."

   Life sentence for ex-coach: Ralph Wager, who coached Webster THomas to a series of Section 5 boys soccer championships from 1972 to '82, pleaded guilty Tuesday in North Carolina to child sex charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

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   Wager coached at Thomas from 1967-82 before leaving to coach Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. He resigned from that position in 1990 and was arrested in 2012.

   Wager pleaded guilty to nine counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and three counts of first-degree sex offense with a child after Superior Court Judge Erwin Spainhour ruled this week that an incriminating tape could be used against Wager in his scheduled trial. The charges involved two boys in incidents that took place between 1987 and '90.

   Three other alleged victims from Wager's time in New York were scheduled to testify.

   What's next? The Ohio High School Athletic Association projects sanctioning lacrosse as an official sport by 2017, and a somewhat surprising sport might not be too far behind.

   With 147 schools already offering the sport at the club level, OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross told reporters this week that lacrosse is expected to soon meet the threshold of 150 schools and has been recommended for the first time by the association's Emerging Sports Committee.

   The other sport that Ross sees gaining approval soon is archery.

   "If you want to keep kids connected, you offer more sports," Ross told reporters. "Archery is one of those."

   Ross said indoor track is gaining speed among other candidates, but boys volleyball has leveled off or even decreased. He said rodeo and sand wrestling as sports that the OHSAA often receives inquiries about, but has little interest in pursuing.

   As as been noted before, competitive cheerleading becomes a varsity sport in New York in the 2015-16 school year.

   I haven't spoken to sectional executive directors or anyone in the NYSPHSAA state office about it, but I don't think there are any other sports on the radar in New York. Girls ice hockey has certainly made significant gains in the past decade, and badminton and fencing are fairly well entrenched in pockets of downstate school districts.

   If I had to guess, I'd say rowing might have the best chance to emerge. A cursory look shows around three dozen schools scattered across the state have district-recognized programs, which offers the possibility of attracting other area athletes and schools.

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