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Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016: East Hampton in discussions with Larry Brown

   Leading off today: Larry Brown's career as a college and professional basketball coach has been called nomadic among other things. But is the first basketball coach to have won both an NBA and NCAA title ready to settle down into a high school position in the community in which he's spent the offseason for 14 years?

   Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday that Brown, 76, has expressed interest in the boys varsity coaching vacancy at East Hampton. Brown and AD Joe Vasile-Cozzo told Newsday the interest is legitimate.

   "I'm trying to figure things out, to be honest with you," Brown told the paper. "I'm interested in helping kids, but I don't want to do anything unless I'm 100 percent in. I don't think it would be fair to the kids."

   Brown plans to attend an open gym this week to meet with players. He also will sit down with Vasile-Cozzo to discuss specifics.

   "I can't believe it's gotten this far," Brown said.

   Brown, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2002, resigned two months ago from Southern Methodist after negotiations on a contract extension broke down. SMU was placed on NCAA probation last year. The school lost scholarships and declared ineligible for 2016 postseason play because of instances of "academic fraud, unethical conduct and head coach control."

   Boys soccer: The Skaneateles boys soccer team remained unbeaten with a 1-0 win over Cazenovia in double overtime on senior Matt Neumann's goal at the 4:27 mark of the second extra period following a corner kick.

   Skaneateles is ranked sixth and Cazenovia 19th in the state in Class B by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   "We've had the same circumstances twice already where we've gone two full overtimes with a team and weren't able to finish," Skaneateles player Matt Neumann told The Citizen. "We were frustrated the entire overtime and needed to put one in the net. It's relieving that we finally found a way to do it."

   Goalkeeper Evan Goldman finished with four saves for the shutout.

   Rankings progress: I blogged yesterday that we were a bit concerned that we might not be able to provide weekly boys cross country rankings this season.

   We'll have more details later, but the good news is that someone has stepped forward to help and the situation has been squared away. With a little luck, the rankings will make their season debut Wednesday night or first thing on Thursday.

   Again, details to follow.

   Four-sport great dies: Retired Pearl River AD Tom Doherty passed along a note that Mike Rotundo, a 1950s great in the Rockland County sports season died recently.

   Rotundo won 16 varsity letters at Tappan Zee in cross country, basketball, baseball and track while helping his teams to nine sectional championships.

   Later, he was a long-time assistant boys basketball coach at Albertus Magnus.

   New Peekskill coach: James Robinson Jr., who has a record of success at the junior-college level, was approved last week as the new girls basketball coach at Peekskill, which has been on a coaching carousel in recent years.

   Robinson, the program's fourth coach in four years, won National Junior College Athletic Association titles at Monroe College as an assistant in 2011 and as the head coach 2012, The Journal News reported.

   "He's focused on building a successful, positive program from the ground, up," Peekskill Superintendent David Fine said of Robinson, who helped the Peekskill boys basketball team to a Section 1 title as a player in 1981. "His focus was always about the student-athlete and growing them as individuals."

  
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   The Peekskill girls are 52-15 over the past three seasons.

   Interesting Calif. fight: We've all seen too many scholastic disputes in which players and their parents have lost sight of the fact that sports are an extra-curricular activity. Now, it appears that a school district has lost track of its priorities in a similar fashion.

   A story out of Visalia, Calif., this week tells how students at El Diamante are being -- pardon the pun -- "muscled" off their high school teams apparently because they have refused to drop an academic course in favor of enrolling in a strength training class that may be "optional" on paper but certainly seems to be mandatory in the eyes of some coaches.

   "These are student athletes," said Roland Soltesz, a lawyer considering legal action against the school. "They are not athletes who happen to be students."

   The school district had tweaked its policy last spring to allow waivers for students with heavy academic schedules to opt out of taking a strength training class and still be able to participate in sports. In the same breath, however, that policy included a clause saying a coach had the right to require strength training as a part of the team's practice schedule.

   An estimated 50 to 60 students took advantage of the waiver and continue to play. Others, though, were told by coaches that they would not make the team without participating in weight training, which would require them to drop a class.

   "We felt it was going to be a good situation," Principal Angela Sanchez said. "I anticipated there were going to be things that I couldn't anticipate. It's not perfect and we are still trying to figure it out."


  
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