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Friday, June 30, 2017: Debunking the 'full scholarship' myth

   Leading off today: There's a saying that warns that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

   On Friday, The Buffalo News published an advisory that a full ride is only slightly less rare. Reporter Mark Gaughan pieced together a thorough look at college sports scholarships and showed how few athletes other than football and basketball players ever earn full grants.

   Volleyball player Matt Anderson, one of the top recruits in the country coming out of West Seneca West before going on to become a two-time Olympian, told Gaughan he left Penn State a year early to turn pro because three years of playing on approximately a 50 percent scholarship left him $70,000 in debt.

   Anderson led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA championship as a junior in 2008, earning national player of the year honors. And he still wasn't on a full scholarship.

   "That's a small reason why I left after my junior year," Anderson said. "I stayed on half-scholarship my entire time. I wasn't going to get a full scholarship. They didn't have any more to delegate toward me."

   The story cited data showing the average athletic scholarship is $14,270 (significantly skewed by all the full rides in Division I football) for men and $15,162 for women; the average annual cost is about $44,000 for a private college, counting room and board.

   Gaughan explains that scholarship limits for most non-revenue sports are well below the number of athletes on the teams. An average baseball team may have more than 30 players but the NCAA Division I maximum is 11.7 scholarships. For men's hockey it's 27 players with a scholarship max of 18. Worse still, many schools do not allot the maximum amount of money in non-revenue sports, so coaches may only have half as many scholarships to hand out as rival schools.

   There's quite a bit more enlightening information in the story. You can read it here.

   Section 3 hoops news: Central New York has lost another boys basketball player who would have been among the area's best next season.

   Buddy Boeheim, a rising senior at Jamesville-DeWitt and a son of the Syracuse University coach, will enroll at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire this fall, reported.

   Playing in the New England Prep School Athletic Council league is likely to raise Boeheim's recruiting profile. He averaged 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds as a junior to earn second-team all-state honors in Class B.

   Earlier this month, Bishop Ludden's Mika Adams-Woods, a fourth-team all-state selection in Class AA, disclosed he will play next season at New Hampton (N.H.) Prep and reclassify to the Class of 2019.

    • Bishop Ludden girls standout Danielle Rauch said Thursday that she has made a verbal commitment to the University of Michigan, which only began pursuing her earlier this year.

   Rauch was selected first-team all-state in Class B last season as a junior. She led Ludden to a 21-4 record and the school's first Section 3 championship since 2006 by averaging 17.9 points, 8 assists and 6.6 rebounds a game.

   Rauch said she picked Michigan over Wisconsin. Her father, Len Rauch, played for current Wolverines men's coach John Beilein at LeMoyne.

   A compelling read: The New York Times wrote recently about Jeff Charles, who was the football coach at the Section 3 when Phoenix lineman Ridge Barden collapsed and dies during a 2011 game.

   Charles stayed at Phoenix one more season but found it difficult to cope. He took a job as an administrator at Fulton after the season.

   Last July, Charles moved to Houston, where he had lived from 2000-09 with his wife and three children, and became a high school softball coach. He said he has no immediate plans to return to the gridiron.


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  •    "I didn't want to sound like a quitter, but after my first year back I knew," Charles told the paper. "I coached 10 ball games and I struggled every (one of the) 10 weeks. It wasn't fun. There was more anxiety every week."

       Signing off: Friday was the final day as athletic director for Scott Morrison, who announced his retirement from Webster Thomas this spring.

       Morrison will be replaced by veteran teacher and administrator Steve LaMonica, formerly the principal one of the district's elementary schools. LaMonica's coaching experience included 10 years running the Irondequoit girls varsity soccer team.

       (Resist making tacky pun here): You may not know the name Gary DeCarlo, but it's likely you're familiar with his work if you've attended more than a handful of games with raucous crowds.

       DeCarlo was the co-writer and singer of that 1969 song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," which spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100 singles chart and has serenaded losing visiting teams on a regular basis for four decades.

       DeCarlo died Wednesday in Branford, Conn., at the age of 75 after a battle with cancer.

       The taunting song was meant to be the "B side" of a single to be released by Mercury Records, but label executives were intrigued by the hook.

       Its origin as a stadium and arena fixture is commonly attributed to Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, who began using it in 1977 for pitchers getting the hook in mid-game.

       Extra points: Watertown Immaculate Heart Central girls basketball coach Robert Piddock has resigned after three seasons (39-28 record) and is also leaving as the school's director of advancement.

       Monsignor McClancy outfielder Quentin Holmes, the state's top draft pick among high school seniors, has signed with the Cleveland Indians and will report to the Arizona Rookie League. Holmes was taken late in the second round earlier this month.

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