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Friday, April 7, 2017: NCAA will consider revisions to lacrosse recruiting

   Leading off today: The early recruiting process of high school athletes by colleges -- especially in lacrosse -- has long been a source of controversy. We may now be less than a week away from a solution thanks to legislation on the agenda for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Council annual meeting in Indianapolis.

   After years of discussion, there will be a vote on a proposal to make lacrosse the pilot program for creating specific restrictions on recruitment prior to the beginning of athletes' junior year of high school. If approved, the proposal will go into effect this summer.

   Supporters see it as the model for recruiting revisions in all sports. Lacrosse has become ground zero for the issue because of the vast number of boys and girls making non-binding commitments even before playing in their first varsity games. Long Island alone had multiple eighth-graders announce college commitments a year ago.

   There was what amounted to a false start a year ago with the approval of a rule banning some unofficial visits and off-campus contact, a restriction made largely meaningless because college coaches could continue to accept incoming calls from prospects.

   Now, Proposal 2016-26 would ban all contact -- including phone calls -- between college coaches and prospective recruits until Sept. 1 of their junior year in high school.

   "We shouldn't be allowed to recruit players that are not really of an age to be recruited," Hofstra men's coach Seth Tierney told Newsday. "We have laws about driving; we have laws about drinking. It's because kids haven't developed a certain set of skills yet in terms of responsibilities. Yet we're allowed to have them make the biggest decision of their lives (choosing a college) before they have that set of skills. Eleventh grade is early enough."

   Said St. Anthony's boys coach Keith Wieczorek: "The trick is to be able to enforce it. People have found ways to get around the rules in the past and they'll find ways again."

   Added Tierney: "Is it going to be like a 55-mile-an-hour speed limit where you can do 65 in the left lane and no one is going to pull you over?"

   Girls lacrosse: Two of Section 3's better teams played on and on Thursday before Fayetteville-Manlius defeated Marcellus 11-10 in three overtimes.

   Hornets attacker Gemma Addonizio scored the winning goal. The sophomore had a team-high four goals in the contest.

   Katie Shanley¬†had a goal and five assists for the winners, and Kiera Shanley¬†added three goals and two assists. Grace Coon paced Marcellus with four goals and an assist.

   More resistance to FNF: Maybe the Big Ten should have consulted its membership a bit more thoroughly before announcing in November that it would start scheduling Friday night football games.

   Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State officials almost immediately expressed their displeasure with the plan and announced they were not interested in hosting Friday night games; getting in and out of Ann Arbor, Mich., or State College, Pa., for a Saturday afternoon game is tough enough, so Friday games would really be a nightmare.

   Now, Northwestern apparently has pushed back on the plan. The school had been scheduled to play two such football games for the 2017 season when the original schedule surfaced but the games now appear on the schedule for Saturdays.

   The paper said the change was at the behest of school leadership after considering "unintended consequences."

   Coach Pat Fitzgerald had opposed the Friday night scheduling because of its effect on high school football and the disruptive impact on players' class and practice schedules.

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