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Sunday, July 29, 2018: Add this to the ugly side of summer basketball

   Leading off today: I procrastinated as I wrote today's blog because I was having trouble getting my arms around the story I wanted to use as the lead item. That's because there were lots of interesting nuggets of info and perspectives from participants as the Democrat and Chronicle wrote 4,000 words on AAU basketball.

   In the end, Twitter solved my dilemma. These thoughts are courtesy of Northern Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Brannen and Eddie Jackson, who is an assistant at American University.

   The moral of the story is this: The Democrat and Chronicle report had good information on what players and their parents can expect in AAU ball and what benefits they can potentially derive. Families can dig into the backgrounds of coaches and the history of programs to be sure they're aligning themselves with sound options, but what good does it do if coaches from mid-major or low-major programs -- not to mention those from Divisions II or III -- get priced out of the gym and can't get to see some prospects who might be a fit for their programs?


   The issue described above -- college-affiliated spectators being forced to pony up substantial money for access -- is similar to what you see at privately operated skills camps. People in the stands there can buy scrimmage rosters at the

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gate for a buck or two, but coaches wanting the booklet containing school/club affiliations, player contact info and SAT scores can expect to pay way more than that.

   It's all perfectly legal, mind you. It's just that it may not be in the best interest of the players.

   Football commitment: This summer has been a bit quieter than 2017 was, but we're beginning to see rising seniors in football make college commitments.

   The latest to declare is St. Joe's offensive lineman Tyler Doty, who'll stay close to home by enrolling at the University at Buffalo in 2019.

   Doty, listed at 6-foot-5 and 296 pounds, has been a two-way starter the past two seasons. He said he was also receiving heavy interest from UMass and UConn.

   Doty becomes the fourth rising senior from the state to have declared for an FBS school. (See list here.)

   Coach appointed: Trait Smith is the new football coach at Lockport, taking over for Matt Vermette. Smith graduated from Lockport in 1982 and has been involved in coaching football, basketball and baseball there for two decades while working as a district English Language Arts and social studies teacher.

   Goshen coach dies: Goshen assistant football coach Charles "Chuck" Lappe, who previously was on the staff at Burke Catholic, died on Monday. The New York Police Department retiree was 59.

   "Both school and football communities are hurting with the loss," said Burke head coach Aaron Hasbrouck, "because of all the contributions that he made for both school districts and both programs."

   'Too much of a distraction': Thomas Tramaglini, the New Jersey school superintendent accused of defecating on a local high school football field and track on a daily basis, resigned last week from his $147,504-a-year job.

   Tramaglini was arrested in May and charged with lewdness, littering and defecating in public on the Holmdel High School campus. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 13.

   "Based on events unrelated to his service for Kenilworth, it has become clear to both Dr. Tramaglini and the Kenilworth Board of Education that his continued service as Superintendent of Schools has become too much of a distraction to the main mission of the district," an email sent to staff read, according to

   Tramaglini's attorney called the accusations "falsehoods" and that he will continue to fight the charges.

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