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Thursday, Jan. 20, 2019: New NCAA hoops camps dead on arrival in New York

   Leading off today: What does the acronym "NCAA" stand for? If the state is New York and the subject is the newly approved June recruiting events for Division I basketball prospects, then the answer is "No Chance At All."

   In a rejection of guidelines developed by the National Federation of State High School Associations at the behest of the NCAA, two key organizations announced they won't operate any of the recruiting events this year. The Basketball Coaches Association of New York issued a statement to that effect Wednesday evening and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association reaffirmed its similar stance on Thursday.

   The result is that every prospective scholarship player in the state will be left out of showcases the NCAA had hoped would be a step toward reforming a recruiting process overrun with outside influences, some of whom are ethically challenged or worse.

   The root of the problem is that the NFHS insisted that only one organization per state could conduct the June camps. Since the NYSPHSAA is the only governing body in the state that would have been eligible, that would have left players from the CHSAA, PSAL and NYSAIS locked out. The CHSAA and NYSAIS have only affiliate status in the NFHS and the PSAL is not at all involved in the organization.

   "BCANY could not in good conscience operate an event that leaves out a segment of New York State," Executive Director Dave Archer said in the statement. "In an age when education is trying to be more inclusive, this NFHS action is being more exclusive."

   NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas told me yesterday that the organization will stay on the sidelines this year.

   Blogger Adam Zagoria pointed out that other states and organizations are facing problems similar to New York's. The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), arguably the best league in the country, is among those whose players would not be able to participate. Ditto for La Lumiere School in Indiana, currently ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today.

   Total collapse narrowly averted: The game was all but over by the time Sara Pfeiffer fouled out with 5:48 to play. The Olean star had bagged 49 points to stake the Huskies to a 22-point lead over Southwestern.

   Minus its star, Olean gave away nearly all its lead against a full-court press and was caught up in a one-possession game in the final minute before prevailing 72-69. Southwestern outscored Olean 27-8 after Pfeiffer's exit via a technical foul that was her fifth personal foul.

   The Trojans' Erin Radack scored 13 of her 31 points in the fourth quarter.

   "I mean, Sara's a good player, she puts points on the board for us, she keeps everybody up and going," coach Chelsea Bowker said. "But, we also have nine other kids on the floor. And nine other kids who can score the ball, who can dribble the ball, who can make layups, who can make free throws. And when we get in a situation like that, they need to step up. I can't be the only one confident in them; they need to be confident in themselves."

   Sigh: I wish I could report this was a typo, but Buffalo Bennett did in fact defeat DaVinci 116-8 in boys basketball "action" Wednesday. The score was 36-0 after one quarter and 67-2 at halftime.

   The game hinged on a single call -- the one made to schedule the game.

   That came on the heels of Olmstead's 92-18 rout of Burgard in a girls game the previous day.

   About all I can say in support of the Buffalo Public Schools is at least they're not the Rochester City School District.

   On the move: West Seneca West two-sport star Juston Johnson has enrolled at an out-of-state prep school in order to continue his basketball career.

   Johnson, out of eligibility to play basketball here under New York State Education Department regulations, appeared in two weekend games for Tennessee Preparatory Academy in Memphis, The Buffalo News reported.


   Johnson had been in limbo since the unfavorable eligibility ruling by Section 6 last summer, a decision affirmed in State Supreme Court on Dec. 18.

   Johnson led West Seneca West to the NYSPHSAA Class A quarterfinals last basketball season after helping the football team earn a stat title.

   Tennessee Prep is 7-5 this season against a schedule including numerous out-of-state opponents.

   Following up: Tuesday's blog recapped the situation in Alabama, where a highly regarded girls basketball player lost her last season of eligibility because she cashed a check from USA Basketball related to representing the country in an international tournament. Numerous celebrities have taken up her cause following two unsuccessful appeals to the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

   The latest development is that members of the Alabama House of Representatives are expressing bipartisan support for Charles Henderson High School star Maori Davenport and are starting to apply pressure on the AHSAA to relent. Davenport and her parents visited the Alabama State House on Tuesday.

   At least one lawmaker intends to sponsor legislation to provide more government oversight of the AHSAA and appears to have more bipartisan support.

   If you're wondering how Davenport's situation would play out in New York, the short answer is that there probably wouldn't be much difference.

   As is the case with Alabama counterpart Steve Savarese, the NYSPHSAA's Zayas does not have the authority to set aside rules passed by the membership or regulations handed down from the New York State Education Department. From time to time that gets the executive directors labeled as the bad guys because it's their job to enforce the rules.

   And the NYSPHSAA's amateur rule is similar to Alabama's with respect to outside compensation for athletes with remaining high school eligibility: Players can not accept any money from outside organizations, even if representing the country for a recognized governing body such as USA Basketball.

   By the way, that rule is unrelated to one allowing athletes to accept up to $250 in apparel and similar swag for attending various camps. There was a recent inquiry to the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee about the possibility of upping that limit to $500.

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