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Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017: Syracuse CBA's Scott is latest Rutgers commitment

   Leading off today: Another day, another commitment to Rutgers by a member of New York's Class of 2018.

   Syracuse CBA running back and linebacker Stevie Scott said Tuesday that he has picked the Scarlet Knights football program over offers from Purdue and Boston College, with nearly a dozen other schools also having made offers.

   Scott told Syracuse.com that Rutgers recruited him to play running back.

   Scott was named second-team all-state in Class AA last season after helping the Brothers to a Section 3 championship and a spot in the state semifinals. He gained 1,269 yards on 97 carries and scored 18 touchdowns.

   Over the weekend, Curtis wide receiver Amad Anderson became the fourth rising senior from the state to pick Rutgers. Previously, defensive back Kessawn Abraham (Erasmus Hall), linebacker Zihir Lacewell (Tottenville) and receiver Paul Woods (Canisius) also committed to the Scarlet Knights.

   With Scott's decision, 24 New York rising seniors have made commitments to Football Bowl Subdivision programs ahead of the December early signing period. You can see the complete list here.

    • Kate Mager, a 10th-team all-state girls basketball guard as an Albertus Magnus junior, has committed to Merrimack in the Northeast-10 Conference.

   Coach Mac dies: Former Syracuse University football coach Dick MacPherson, who returned the program to national significance in the 1980s, died Tuesday at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. He was 86.

   MacPherson left SU for the New England Patriots, where he was the head coach for two seasons, and later returned to Central New York to become the color commentator on Orange TV and radio broadcasts, charming the hometown fans with his folksy style.

   Coach Mac's final season on the sideline in 1990 coincided with my first season on the beat as a reporter out of Rochester. I'd cut my teeth in newspapers with a few years on the high school beat and covering local colleges. I think I kind of naively assumed that all Division I coaches from that point on would be as fun to cover as Mac was, though Paul Pasqualoni and Jim Boeheim soon thereafter dissuaded me of the notion.

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   His coaching style was definitely old-school, often scrutinizing his troops from a small tower adjacent to the practice fields near Manley Field House. I can remember him offering praise and encouragement at times, but he could also be brutal in his evaluations of performances.

   In particular, I can remember him crushing a young nose guard named Kevin Mitchell for getting manhandled in drills by John Flannery, who was on his way to an All-American season. It was a lesson in the realities of big time sports:

  
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Coaches will charm players and their families during the recruiting process, but ultimately their livelihood depends on the performance of those youngsters.

   My lasting memory of Mac, though, was his return to campus to say goodbye after accepting the Patriots job. The room was packed with media as well as employees from the athletic department, and he spoke brilliantly for more than half an hour, saying his thank yous and speaking humorously about the crazy ride of rebuilding the football team and then enjoying some time near the top of the Division I heap.

   I'm pretty sure I still have the microcassette from the news conference in a shoe box somewhere in my office. I'm going to have to try to dig it out this weekend and enjoy it one more time.

   Back in business: Cohoes will play varsity football again this fall after spending last season at the junior-varsity level.

   The Post-Star reported the Tigers currently have a five-game schedule and will play down in Class D, ineligible for the postseason, in the first season back.

   Extra points: Shenendehowa lacrosse midfielder Matt Stucchi will spend his senior year at The Hill Academy in Ontario, Canada. The Loyola (Md.) commit helped the Plainsmen to a Section 2 title in 2016 with seven goals vs. Niskayuna in the Class A final.

   In CHSAA basketball, Holy Cross point guard Hassan Diarra has departed before his junior season and will attend Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut to reclassify to the Class of 2020. He averaged 11 points a game last season.


  
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