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Wednesday, May 27, 2020: Football teams can add one game beginning this fall

   Leading off today: The NYSPHSAA has given the go-ahead for sections to allow their football teams to scrap the traditional preseason scrimmage in favor of playing an additional regular-season game.

   The vote at Wednesday's meeting of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Executive Committee, paves the way for a handful of teams to play a maximum of 14 games beginning this fall. The first regular-season game would fall on the weekend of Sept. 4-6.

   The meeting was conducted via online video conferencing -- a reminder that any football season at all remains theoretical at this point as the state continues to deal with the most COVID-19 cases and deaths n the country.

   It will be up to the respective sections to determine whether games being played in place of the scrimmage will count for sectional seeding purposes.

   Although the football vote attracted the most media attention, it wasn't the most significant item voted upon by the Executive Committee. The 22-member body approved a budget of $2,649,502 that cuts expenditures in the 2020-21 school year by 7%.

   Highlights of the budget include:

  • Freezing the salaries of the NYSPHSAA office staff.
  • A 25% decrease in last year's $40,000 marketing budget.
  • A $50,000 savings by scrapping face-to-face meetings for sport coordinator meetings.
   Revenue is projected to dip slightly to $2,841,643. That reflects a conservative projection of a $300,000 net from the championships conducted by the NYSPHSAA. That budget line was ravaged in the current school year by having to abandon the basketball and hockey tournaments prior to the final four weekends and the cancellation of all spring sports.

   Boys and girls basketball alone came up more than $170,000 short from the previous year because the tournaments were halted during the regionals.

   The NYSPHSAA revealed that it had been approved for a $150,000 loan through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program but anticipates qualifying to have the loan forgiven.


   Tournament decisions: Numerous tournament venue contracts were extended by a year in consideration of the cancellations caused by the pandemic. They include buys basketball in Glens Falls, girls basketball at Hudson Valley Community College, baseball in the Binghamton area, boys golf at Mark Train Golf Course in Elmira, girls lacrosse at SUNT Cortland, boys lacrosse at Hofstra and softball at Moriches Athletic Complex. Cicero-North Syracuse will move back into the outdoor track schedule in 2024.

   The Buffalo News reported that the LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo turned down an extension in hockey, though the facility is expected to bid when the next three-year contract comes up.


   New contracts were awarded to Middletown (boys soccer, 2021-23), Kenmore (gymnastics, 2022-24), and AMF Strike 'N Spares Lanes in Syracuse (bowling, 2021-23).

   Regional rotations tat were to be used in basketball and the spring sports will be used in 2021.

   Other meeting business: Bayport-Blue Point AD Tim Mullins was approved for the position of NYSPHSAA second vice-president effective Sept. 1.

   NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas clarified that the recently appointed COVID-19 task force will not have regulatory authority as it goes about planning how NYSPHSAA schools can proceed with sports beginning in August and head off potential issues.

   The NYSPHSAA also announced that the CHSAA and PSAL will be limited to sending only their champions to future NYSPHSAA swimming championships as a measure to reduce overcrowding on pool decks.

   the NYSPHSAA contract with Spalding as the official ball supplier for tournaments was extended through 2024.

   Hall of Fame inductees: The NYSPHSAA recently announced the class of 2020 for its Hall of Fame. Those being enshrined at the Central Committee meeting in Lake Placid in July are Diane Chapman, Edward Goetz, Carl Normandin, Sharon Sarsen, Karen O'Connor Self, and Marie Terc.

   Chapman recently retired with a combined 17 state titles and 36 Section 8 crowns as the field hockey and girls lacrosse coach at Garden City.

   Goetz refereed football and girls basketball for a combined 68 seasons dating to 1977. He was selected to work 13 NYSPHSAA basketball final fours and three state football finals.

   Normandin, the Section 10 executive director since 2001, has served in a variety of capacities with the NYSPHSAA, including on the Championship Advisory Committee, Structure and Review Committee, Appeals Committee, and as the girls ice hockey state coordinator.

   Sarsen is the winningest field hockey coach in New York State and ranks second in lacrosse victories with Lakeland. Her teams captured a record 13 NYSPHSAA field hockey titles, including nine in a row from 2009-17.    O'Connor Self, was a basketball and track star at Hyde Park FDR. She scored 2,662 career points on the court and was a high school All-American in track and field in the throws. She went on to coach girls basketball at Seton Catholic Prep in Chandler, Arizona, where her teams won 734 games and 11 state championships.

   Terc has officiated five sports for a combined 143 seasons spanning over five decades -- including 53 seasons of softball and 44 years of girls volleyball.

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