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Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019: How many arrests are too many? Three, apparently

   Leading off today: It's a question that inevitably rears its head a couple of times a year somewhere in the state and stirs up plenty of criticism every time:

   How much should school officials know -- and want to know -- about serious criminal charges against students who also happen to be star athletes.

   It's Jamesville-DeWitt's turn to answer questions this time, though no one in authority is in the mood to talk in the aftermath of Teleak Robinson's benching late last week.

   Robinson, a junior averaging a team-best 17.3 points per game, did not dress for Friday's win over East Syracuse Minoa, reported. He sat in the bleachers during the JV game then left before the varsity came out for warm-ups.

   Robinson played in nine games this season, including a 56-42 win over Christian Brothers Academy on Dec. 29, one night after his third arrest in recent months. Police say they charged him with criminal possession of stolen property after he was caught driving a stolen BMW, the website reported.

   Charges uncovered by include:

    • On July 23, Robinson allegedly assaulted a woman in Syracuse, choked the woman and kicking her in the ribs.

    • On Sept. 7, he was one of three men charged with robbery for allegedly taking $60 from a Syracuse man outside of a grocery store.

   All cases in court are pending.

   Coach Jeff Ike and AD John Goodson said Friday the school did not have enough information from the first two cases to keep Robinson from playing. District Superintendent Peter Smith refused to speak to a reporter after Friday's game, walking away before hearing the questions.

   Compounding the issue is a question about whether Robinson actually lives in the J-D district. Police reports show Robinson, who transferred from Corcoran in 2017, living at an address in Syracuse when he was arrested Sept. 7 and Dec. 28.

   Goodson said that Robinson, 16, lives with his mother in a DeWitt apartment.

   Milestone: Saranac senior Jacob Nolan is nine wins away from becoming Section 7's all-time wrestling wins leader after collecting his 200th in the 170-pound final at the 50th annual Peru Invitational on Saturday.

   Nolan trails Peru graduate Troy Seymour, who posted 208 wins in his career.

   Saturday spree: Chester basketball player Kevin Stein had a ridiculous third quarter in Saturday's 79-57 win over S.S. Seward. Stein scored 31 points in the eight-minute stanza on his way to 40 points in the game.

   Alabama under fire: The Alabama High School Athletic Association isn't backing down despite immense criticism over the decision to suspend Maori Davenport, a heavily recruited 6-foot-4 girls basketball player, over receiving a stipend for her participation on a U.S. national team in an international tournament.

   The case, which stems from a check that Davenport was sent by USA Basketball for competing at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico, has drawn critical reactions from celebrities and basketball personalities such as Jay Bilas. USA Basketball routinely pays players small stipends to compensate for lost wages and incidental expenses. USA Basketball typically checks with high school associations prior to making payments but erroneously sent Davenport $857.20 though the AHSAA does not allow such payments.

   In realizing the error, USA Basketball notified Davenport's high school and the AHSAA, and Davenport returned the money three months after cashing her check. Still, AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese cited the organization's rules on amateur status as the reason for the one-year suspension.

   (In a major bit or irony, being stripped of her high school eligibility will not affect Davenport's college eligibility since the NCAA permits such payments.)


   Two appeals were turned down in unanimous decisions, and USA Basketball President Jim Tooley reportedly traveled to Alabama to take responsibility for the glitch.

   Johnny Hardin, the AHSAA Central Board of Control president, issued a statement defending the decision and saying several facts have either been misstated or ignored. He added that Savarese and the AHSAA staff have received threatening and vulgar emails even though they are powerless to unilaterally change or waive the rule in question.

   Hardin assigned blame to USA Basketball as well as to Davenport's high school coach and the player's mother, a certified AHSAA coach who he said should have been familiar with the rule.

   Tara Davenport, the player's mother, said she is only a game-day volunteer assistant who has not been trained on the amateur rule.

   "The only reason I didn't question the check is because it was from USA Basketball," Davenport told "I felt like they are big-time, and I didn't have to question it."

   Speaking of controversies: Bilas, never shy about speaking up on NCAA matters even though he may be biting the hand that feeds him because of ESPN's relationship, has been busy delving into high school topics recently. Here are some of tweets from a Twitter conversation he was involved in last week:

   Intrigued, I poked around a bit and pieced together what he was talking about ... and it ain't good if you play basketball in the PSAL, CHSAA or NYSAIS.

   The background:

   The Rice Commission was formed in response to last year's college basketball scandal in which various coaches were accused of paying prospective recruits. The NCAA appointed the Commission on College Basketball led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

   One of the commission's recommendations in April, adopted by the NCAA, was the establishment of two weekends in June for potential men's Division I players to be viewed by men;s Division I coaches, and the NCAA asked the National Federation of State High School Associations to work out the nuts and bolts of the June events.

   The National Federation came back with criteria that included allowing only players from schools in the NFHS to participate. That works relatively fine in many states, but not New York. The NYSPHSAA is the only one of the state's four major high school sports governing bodies with full membership in the NFHS.

   That's led to speculation that New York might end up not participating in the June camps at all, which would add NYSPHSAA players to the list of those excluded from the event.

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