Leading off today:
Cheick Diallo, the two-time New York boys basketball player of the year as selected by Gatorade, is in limbo at the moment because the Kansas-bound, 6-foot-9 forward has not yet been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that the McDonald's All-American is caught up in NCAA concerns about his former school, Our Savior New American in Cenetereach.
"I don't anticipate this being cleared up in the near future," Kansas coach Bill Self said, rather ominously.
Diallo, a native of Mali, attended OSNA after coming to the United States to pursue a basketball career. The NCAA Eligibility Center is characterizing OSNA as being "under an extended evaluation period" while college sports' governing body determine if the school "meets the academic requirements for NCAA cleared status."
The paper reported Diallo arrived in Lawrence, Kan., last month and enrolled in Kansas' second summer-school session. He has completed six credit hours, Self said.
OSNA Principal Dolores Reade did not respond to voicemails and emails from the paper.
Our Savior New American routinely sends players to Division I programs, including center Chris Obekpa, who left St. John's this spring and announced Wednesday he will transfer to UNLV. Obekpa was suspended for the NCAA Tournament after reportedly failing a drug test.
And then there were four: Conrad Brake has become the fourth rising senior football player at Aquinas to make his college decision, and his route to Division I is both somewhat unconventional and impressive.
Brake said this week he will enroll at the University of Pittsburgh in September 2016, at which time his status will be that of preferred walk-on, which is generally all that a long-snapper can hope for in college. However, the Panthers have told Brake that he will be put on full scholarship beginning with the spring semester of his freshman year.
"I've been in contact with a lot of schools through the recruiting process," Brake said, adding that South Alabama, Oklahoma State and Louisville were among the other schools involved early.
Everything athletically and academically, though, was nudging him to Pitt as the recruiting process heated up. Brake cited his relationship with special-teams coach Andre Powell, hired away from Maryland by new Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi, the former defensive coordinator at Michigan State.
"I had been to Pitt four times and have a great relationship with coach Powell as we have talked once a week since February," said Brake, who's been working with Adam Tanalski of the Hammer Kicking Academy. "I had other scholarship opportunities but the chance to be a preferred walk on with Pittsburgh and take over their senior's scholarship In January was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"My relationship with Coach Powell At Pittsburgh was second to none and I trust my future with that staff.
Besides Brake heading to Pitt, Aquinas has quarterback Jake Zembiec (Penn State) and linebackers Jamir Jones (Notre Dame) and Taylor Riggins (Syracuse) already committed. In addition, cornerback/receiver Earnest Edwards already holds at least one Division I offer.
More football: I've actually seen almost as much griping about this as I've seen praise, but a vote at last week's NYSPHSAA Central Committee meeting made it easier for football teams not qualifying for their sectional final to play 10 games in a season.
Most NYSPHSAA teams play a seven-game regular season. Those losing in the sectional quarterfinals were typically done after Week 8, and non-playoff teams usually picked up one or two games in the past.
Section 3 football chairman Keith Kempney told