Leading off today: Yesterday's blog
recapped the highlights of the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee meeting in Saratoga Springs. but I saved one nugget for my weekly column in The Press & Sun-Bulletin. At the same time that New York Public High School Athletic Association schools are closing in on a decision about how and when to restore games cut from most sports in 2009 due to the recession, people are now contemplating new ways to handle the rare but persistent problem of varsity teams that get themselves banned from the playoffs because they play too many regular-season games.
You can read the full column here but the concern that officials of the state's largest governing body for high school sports have is that the postseason ban imposed under NYSPHSAA rules ends up punishing students for a mistake made by coaches and athletic directors.
The glitch affects one or two of the 14,000 NYSPHSAA varsity teams per year. As such, I'm not convinced that any changes in the rule need to be made.
Personally, I'd be more interested in addressing a different issue that is also part of the rules refresher course that ADs receive every year at a mandatory meeting. Already this school year, a Section 6 boys basketball team and a Section 5 boys hockey squad have violated the rule against raising money based upon player performances -- free throws made in basketball and goals scored in hockey.
Yes, both promotions were fundraisers for charitable causes. Still, it is a rules violation until NYSPHSAA schools say it isn't.
Likely going to trial: A former teammate accused of stabbing Batavia football star Ray Leach before the start of his spectacular senior season rejected a plea deal Friday. Antwon L. Odom, 18, was offered a deal by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman to plead guilty to second-degree assault with no sentencing promises. He would have faced anywhere from probation and local jail to seven years in state prison, The Daily News in Batavia reported.
He is now expected to go to trial on a charge of first-degree assault, which carries a maximum term of 25 years. Odom's attorney asked Judge Charles Zambito to allow for more motions to be filed before a trial date is set, and the parties are to return to court in July.
Odom is accused of stabbing Leach, who went on to share state player of the year honors in Class B, during a fight Aug. 4. He is claiming the incident, which left Leach with 10 stab wounds, was self-defense.
Weighty wrestling issue: The NYSPHSAA could be eliminating the 99-pound weight class in varsity wrestling before the 2019-20 season.
The development stems from a vote at the state wrestling committee meeting Tuesday. A majority of the representatives from the 11 sections supported dropping the lowest weight class, reducing meets from 15 weights to 14.
The next step will be a discussion at the annual NYSPHSAA Central Committee in July, with a final vote expected by the NYSPHSAA Executive Committee in