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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / January 17.
  • In response to restrictive NFHS guidelines, New York State declines to hold any recruiting events in June

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    In response to restrictive guidelines from the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), two New York State organizations announced they won’t host or operate any Division I recruiting events in June.

    The announcements by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) and The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) effectively mean that New York won’t hold any recruiting events in June. That, in turn, will leave every basketball player in the state out of the recruiting mix that month.

    The decisions stem from the fact that New York City Catholic, Public and Independent schools would be excluded under the NFHS criteria established in the wake of the Rice Commission Report.

    “We’re not going to discriminate against those kids,'” said Dave Archer of the BCANY.

    The BCANY issued a press release which read in part, “BCANY could not in good conscience operate an event that leaves out a segment of New York State. In an age when Education is trying to be more inclusive, this NFHS action is being more exclusive.”

    In an email sent to the NFHS, Dr. Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the NYSPHSAA, stated: “New York will not host a June Scholastic Event this year.”

    ESPN reported last month that under the NFHS guidelines, only one organization per state was eligible to be seen by coaches.

    Among those that would be excluded are “private schools in North Carolina, among other states; the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC), arguably the best basketball conference in the country; the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association, which includes Oak Hill Academy, Paul VI and Bishop O’Connell; and La Lumiere School (Indiana), one of the best high school basketball programs in the country.”

    College coaches will be able to see players from New York (and Texas, which also won’t run June events) on the AAU circuits during one weekend in April (26-28) and during the July live period (10-14). There will also be four Regional camps during two three-sessions in July (23-25 and 26-28). USA Basketball will also run a national camp for the top 100 or so players from July 26-28.

    But coaches won’t see New York players in June.

    Pat Massaroni, the head coach at White Plains (N.Y.) Archbishop Stepinac, the reigning New York State Federation champion, coaches a team full of Division I prospects, including sophomore wing A.J. Griffin and junior point guard R.J. Davis. Massaroni said he called the NFHS office offered to host an event South of Albany. He said he was told he couldn’t host events at any one of a number of venues, including Fordham University, Iona College, Westchester Community College and the Westchester County Center.

    “We are disappointed in the news that the student–athletes at Stepinac and all those young men in New York State will not be able to participate in the June live periods,” Massaroni said. “This ruling effects the kids and the exposure live periods are to provide for them to be seen to play college basketball no matter [whether they are] Division 1, 2 or 3.”

    Said Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello: “We can’t play in anything, it’s a joke. You’re not giving every student-athlete the same opportunity, so you’re discriminating. And I hope that somebody starts a class action lawsuit against the NCAA.”

    Here is the full release from the BCANY:

    The Basketball Coaches Association of NY (BCANY) announces they will not host nor operate an NCAA Division I men’s basketball Scholastic Recruiting Event in June of 2019.

    The sole reason for the BCANY’s decision is the restrictive criteria established by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS); that only students from NFHS member schools will be allowed to participate.

    The NFHS members only policy, prohibits participation of high school players from any high school in New York City. Not allowing players from the Catholic, Private and Public Schools in New York City (over 300 schools) to participate is unjust and wrong.

    BCANY is made up of coaches of all levels from throughout the State of New York. A primary function of BCANY is to be an advocate for all players and coaches from all schools throughout the state.

    BCANY could not in good conscience operate an event that leaves out a segment of New York State. In an age when Education is trying to be more inclusive, this NFHS action is being more exclusive.

    Note: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has also announced they will not host an event.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.