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Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015: Arrest in transcript scandal; 'Ticky' Burden dies

   Leading off today: This has been one of the busiest news days for New York high school sports in quite some time, beginning with this morning's blog about the death of Loyola School sophomore soccer player Thomas Jakelich.

   I'm going to dive into as much as I can for now, supply you with the usual links for more information and save some other pretty interesting material for use over the next few days.

   Arrest in transcript scandal: Tyrone Mushatt, the former head coach of the Westchester Community College men's basketball team, was arraigned Thursday on charges he used forged transcripts to help star players earn NCAA Division I scholarships, The Journal News reported.

   The bogus transcripts -- several apparently for former New York high school stars -- were allegedly provided by Mushatt to seven colleges, including St. John's University, Quinnipiac and Florida A&M. Mushatt was charged with nine felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument for allegedly altering transcripts between May 2012 and October 2014. He was arraigned in Mount Pleasant Town Court and released without bail.

   The transcript fraud scandal was uncovered by The Journal News. It prompted WCC to cancel its 2014-15 men's basketball season and prompted an investigation by the National Junior College Athletic Association. Recently, WCC canceled its second consecutive men's basketball season and also scrapped the women's season.

   Each count Mushatt faces is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

   Legendary hoops star dies: Luther "Ticky" Burden, an Albany scholastic sensation and then an All-America basketball guard at the University of Utah, died Thursday at the age of 62.

   Burden was hospitalized in Winston-Salem, N.C., following a reaction to anesthesia prior to undergoing cataract surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

   Burden is still No. 6 on the career scoring list at Utah, where he was named to The Associated Press All-America team in 1975. As a pro, he played briefly for the Virginia Squires in the ABA and the New York Knicks in the NBA but was limited by numerous knee injuries.

   Before that, he was one of the great players to come out of the Albany area, landing on the New York State Sportswriters Association first team as a junior and senior at Schuyler High, where his shooting stroke and leaping ability made him nearly unstoppable.

   "It was so crazy, I could not taking my eyes off him," said Willie Dobbs, a high school friend and Burden's agent. "Nothing but net, nothing but net. I've never seen nobody shoot like that."

   "Ticky was unstoppable in his prime," Willie Bass, one of Burden's friends from Albany told the Times Union in 2012.

   After his playing career, Burden was convicted of armed robbery and served two years in prison before an appellate judge overturned the conviction in 1984. He subsequently pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to resolve the case.

   Forfeit upheld: Malverne's appeal of a ruling that forced it to forfeit Saturday's 32-30 football win vs. Seaford was denied Wednesday, Newsday reported.

   Section 8 ruled Tuesday that the team used an ineligible transfer student because the school did not submit the proper paperwork. Malverne self-reported the infraction after AD Patricia Desormeau faxed the paperwork to the section office after Saturday's game started. Coach Kito Lockwood pulled the player from the game when he learned that the paperwork had not yet been submitted, the paper reported.

   The loss had dropped Seaford from 14th to 21st in Class B in the NYSSWA rankings. With the forfeit, Seaford's record improves to 6-1.


  • 2015 NYSPHSAA football brackets
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  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys soccer brackets
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  •    Wednesday soccer notes: Weather wiped out quite a bit of the day's playoff schedule, but I wanted to acknowledge a couple of games that did get played.

       Junior forward Ahmed Hassoon scored twice in the final eight minutes as No. 15 I-Prep defeated 20th-ranked and previously unbeaten Lackawanna 3-1 in the Section 6 boys Class B-2 soccer final.

       I-Prep, the NYSPHSAA Class D champ last fall, overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to improve to 14-3-1.

       Elsewhere, Class C No. 3 Elmira Notre Dame continued to pulverize its competition. Aidan Sharma and Rocco Coulibaly scored goals 30 seconds apart midway through the first half to start a 9-0 rout of Trumansburg in the Section 4 semifinals. Sharma finished with three goals, Coulibaly added two goals and two assists, and Michael Woglom scored twice.

       Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a 158-3 margin this season.

       Quick notes: (1) I'm not ignoring your emails, gang. I'm buried in work this week and promise to catch up Friday after I finish my shift at my real job.

       (2) As you noticed when you reached the top of the second column in the blog, we're in playoff mode now. The soccer brackets are mostly empty at the moment. I'll plug some sectional finalists and champions in there Friday and keep plugging away over the weekend. You can visit the brackets home page for a taste of recent playoff history in various sports.

       (3) Here's the Week 9 schedule for the state's ranked football teams. The statewide schedule page is also updated. And here's the section-by-section rundown of playoff results and schedules.

       (4) Lots more to come tomorrow.

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