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Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017: Some really good advice on the recruiting process

   Leading off today: Free advice found on the Internet -- as this blog sometimes proves -- often isn't worth much more that what you (didn't) pay for it. But that's not to say there aren't exceptions that really make a person sit up and take notice.

   One such instance reared its head courtesy of Milesplit.com, which offered some excellent first-person advice on college recruiting. The column was written by Rob Bethmann of Arlington, Texas, based on the recent experiences surrounding the recruitment of his son Cade, a quality two-lapper and miler who signed with Ole Miss last November,

   Bethmann was speaking specifically of track and field, but what he wrote applies to all the non-revenue sports -- i.e., the ones with far fewer scholarships than actual roster spots -- and a lot of it also applies to basketball and football, where full rides are the rule rather than the exception.

   If you're a young athlete on a Division I or II trajectory or are the parent of that young person, there's a lot of valuable advice. A few highlights:

    • It should be the athlete and not the parents driving the process when it comes to making initial contact with schools via email or telephone because the coach-athlete relationship will be the key dynamic before and after enrollment.

    • Even if college coaches cannot call a recruit until July 1 after the junior year, there are lines of communication that can and should be opened sooner.

    • School staff will start scrutinizing social media behavior sooner than you think.

    • There's a good reason to keep pen and paper next to the phone beginning July 1.

    • There's also a reason why the high school coach can be especially valuable during home visits by recruiters.

   The column is among the best I've seen done on the subject in awhile. You can read it here in its entirety.

   Off the West Point: Cardinal Hayes quarterback Christian Anderson will enroll in the U.S. Military Academy later this year following a senior season of historic proportions.

   Anderson threw for 3,653 yards and 37 touchdowns last fall en route to a slew of honors that will include NYSSWA all-state recognition next week.

   Coming up: The top seven teams in Division I according to the newest New York State Sportswriters Association wrestling ratings will compete this weekend at the Union-Endicott Duals.

   Hilton, Long Beach, Monroe-Woodbury, Rocky Point, Fairport, Minisink Valley and Massapequa will be joined by No. 10 Wantagh, No. 15 Fulton and a pair of ranked Division II teams -- No. 1 Mattituck and No. 9 Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton/Harpursville.

   John Jay Cross River, Farmingdale, Brockport, Brentwood and U-E round out the field.

   Basketball progress: The new boys basketball rankings were posted this morning, and last week's string of losses by Class A's top five teams made figuring out an order

  
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challenging. In fact, there are probably 35 schools that can make a case for a spot in the top 25.

   Buffalo's Park School was one of the teams taking a loss but still moves from No. 2 to No. 1 for now. We'll see how long that lasts with games coming up Friday vs. No. 14 Bishop Timon-St. Jude on Friday, Canisius next Tuesday and No. 8 Williamsville South on Jan. 12.

   In Class C, No. 1 Waterville lost to Class B Broadalbin-Perth, so Moravia is the new No. 1.

   Speaking of progress, you've hopefully noticed the changes this week to RoadToGlensFalls.com, our boys basketball site.

   Though interior pages will remain the same for now, the home page for each of the state's NYSPHSAA sections and other organizations received a badly needed overhaul. Each now has a Twitter module that aggregates and delivers tweets from athletic programs at numerous local schools, an enhancement that will continue to improve over time as we follow (and get followed by) more schools on Twitter.

   Another Twitter module on the site delivers tweets from more than 100 media outlets and their high school reporters delivering up-to-the-minute developments.

   Sacked: The University of South Florida has fired men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua in the midst of an academic fraud investigation, AD Mark Harlan announced.

   Antigua was first-team all-state in 1991 for St. Raymond's.

   South Florida was 23-55 in two-plus seasons under Antigua. ESPN reported last July that the South Florida program was being investigated because of academic fraud. Shortly thereafter, Antigua's brother, Oliver, resigned as an assistant coach. Oliver Antigua left St. Raymond's in 2012 after 10 seasons as the coach there.


  
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