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Saturday, March 16, 2019: New Jersey may tighten transfer rules

   Leading off today: When MaryEllen Elia made an appearance last month in Saratoga Springs, it was noteworthy that the commissioner of the New York State Education department became the first person in that capacity to sit in on a NYSPHSAA Executive Committee meeting.

   Elia made brief remarks to open the meeting that day but didn't say anything that constituted news regarding athletics policy or regulations.

   That was also the case Wednesday when her counterpart from the Garden State addressed the Director of Athletic Administrators of New Jersey convention. But it may not have been coincidence that Lamont Repollet chose to speak at the convention in Atlantic City, because representatives of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association were making their presentation that same day.

   NJSIAA Assistant Director Kim Cole took on an issue of continuing concern in the state, noting that the governing body had seen 3,080 athletes apply to transfer since the process became electronic. The rule in New Jersey is that players must sit 30 days following a transfer unless they can prove a bonafide change of address.

   New Jersey appears poised to make the rule tougher by adding provisions to it, and Repollet would have to give final approval on any changes.

   Among measures being considered is a more thorough examination of instances where a change of address is involved in a transfer to a private school. Steve Goodell, the NJSIAA's legal counsel, said the NJSIAA could look at whether the new residence is actually in that non-public school's district as opposed to a nearby town.

   The NJSIAA has also grown wary of athletes transferring to an address shared with someone already on the team. Thirdly, they may start looking more closely at students who transfer but leave a sibling at their previous public school.

   Getting together: With the respective school districts having already approved a combined program, it's now up to Section 2 to give the final OK next month for Corinth and Fort Edward to play as a single football team in the 2019 season.

   "Last year our numbers were dwindling, we had a few injuries, and we were down to 18 by the end of the year," Corinth Superintendent Mark Stratton said. "I think this is a way we can revitalize our program and perhaps build a JV program if the numbers warrant it."

   Corinth AD Hilary Haskell said the merger would likely be for one or two years and revisited each year. Fort Edward still has a merger with Argyle at the modified level.


   Corinth went 0-9 against mostly Class C powers, while Class D Fort Edward finished 3-5. The combined team would play in Class D but be ineligible for sectionals.

   Retired Sec. 2 coach dies: Dick Stipano, who coached football at Mechanicville, Stillwater and LaSalle Institute, died March 9 in Aiken, S.C. He was 76.

   Stipano was 111-97-6 in his football career and also coached track and field.

   Stipano also served as head coach at Hudson Valley Community College from 1986 to 1991 and held assistant positions at RPI and with the Albany Metro Mallers semi-pro team.

   College choice: The University of Pittsburgh may be halfway to a two-fer in basketball recruiting with the decision this week by small forward Justin Champagnie to commit.

   Champagnie helped Bishop Loughlin to a 23-4 record this season. Though listed as a junior, he will have enough credits to enroll in college in the fall.

   Champagnie's twin brother Julian, expected by many to pick the same college as his brother, reportedly will remain for one more year of high school, possibly at a prep school.

   Champagnie joins a recruiting class that includes former Irondequoit standout Gerald Drumgoole, who is attending school n Indiana this year.

   Extra points: Kevin Miller, who has spent the past 17 seasons working with the Lancaster hockey program, has decided not to return next season.

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