Attendees (16): Terry Brewer, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, A.J. Amato, Melissa Bill, Dick Drumm, Stewart Wagner, Charlie Foote, David Taylor, Ray Hannan, Jim Butterworth.
Guests (2): Bob Stulmaker, Willie Widby.
PROGRAM: “High School Athletics Anecdotes”
Terry Brewer introduced fellow CASDA staffer Bob Stulmaker, former assistant director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and former athletic director of the Saratoga Springs school district.
Bob began his talk by reading a humorous fictional announcement from a school superintendent about the coming of Halley’s comet that changed emphasis and message as it filtered down through the administrative and coaching ranks to students and their families, eventually becoming an announcement about an appearance by the old rock ‘n’ roll band Bill Haley and the Comets. The idea was to show that sloppy communications can inadvertently change the impact and meaning of a policy.
That established his talk about student athletic eligibility and how poor communications and lack of understanding of the statewide rules in some instances led to suspension of players and forfeiture of team victories. He also noted that the size of the NYSPHSAA staff is quite small compared to some other states’. For example, in Rhode Island, a staff of 11 handles matters for 56 schools. In New York, a staff of six handles 487 schools.
Bob spoke about the coaches’ handbook used statewide and the “30 rules that could get a player declared ineligible.” He characterized that section of the handbook as the most important part. He shared stories on coaching problems and mistakes which have had lasting effects. Two of the most important:
• The former Syracuse University and National Football League player who was hired to coach the Skaneateles High School football team, but had no coaching certification. The coach, Tim Green, attracted other NFL players to help coach kids at clinics, and enticed parents of standout scholastic players to move into the district so their sons could play for Green who also paid the rent for parents’ apartments that allowed them to be within the school district borders. Eventually, the whole situation unraveled and Skaneateles, which was ranked No. 1 in the state in its class, forfeited all of its games and Green resigned.
• A star Long Island wrestler who was so ahead of his competition at the high school level he seldom needed more than a minute to record a pin. With the support of his parents and school officials, he was enrolled in a college tournament, which is against state rules. He did well in that competition, but wound up being prohibited from competing at the high school level. The first-year athletic director at that school lost his position.
Bob also distributed copies of a power point presentation called “Your Path to the Student-Athlete Experience.”
DG VISIT — District Governor Milan Jackson will speak to the club after dinner next Thursday, He will meet with the club board at 5:45 p.m. President Terry urged members to make every effort to attend the meeting. Milan had been scheduled to visit earlier, but a communications mixup resulted in the postponement of his appearance. Milan is a member of the Cobleskill club.
FOUNDATION DINNER — The annual District Foundation dinner is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, at the Stratton Air National Guard base in Scotia. At least four members have expressed interest so far in attending. The theme this year will be a military one, which coincidentally is in keeping with our emphasis on supporting veterans supportive organizations. Part of the program for the evening is a tour of one of the gigantic C-130 transport planes. Go here for details and a link to online registration details.
BOWLING FOR VETERANS — The newly-redirected fundraiser, which succeeds our years-long highlighting of anti-polio programs, is scheduled for Sunday, November 8, at the East Greenbush Bowling Center. Members have been e-mailed copies of the event flyer to print out and distribute at their place of work, to friends and family, and otherwise distribute. They also can post the flyers on social media accounts. Murray Forth, co-event coordinator with Terry, is looking for people to sell lane sponsorships (he has the forms), to contact organizations to urge participation of teams, and to staff the registration table from either 12:30 to 2:30 or 3 to 5 p.m. the day of the event. Full details of the event are on the flyer, which is posted on the club website. April Dowd said she would sponsor a lane at $100, and Melissa Bill said her bank, First Niagara, would sponsor two at $200. Thus, we’re already $300 to the good. Murray noted that we can have multiple sponsors of lanes, and we have 16 reserved lanes although if we have a large turnout we’ll be able to spill over to other lanes. Bill Dowd informed members that the Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy has scheduled a similar veterans benefit event for the weekend following our event, also $20 for two hours of bowling. He wanted to alert everyone in case someone they contact might expression confusion over the similarities of theme and timing.
ROTARY HOME COOKING — Debbie and Peter Brown, who are hosting the season’s first such event on Saturday, November 14, have five (5) seats remaining of the eight (8) originally offered. Please see either of them ASAP if you wish to attend. Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis as always.
HOLIDAY PARTY — Our annual Holiday Party is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, December 17, at the Browns’ residence in Castleton. As we have for a number of years, we will again ask members to create themed gift baskets to be used in a silent auction to benefit the club’s general treasury.
BREAKFAST SERIES — Terry reported that because of the strong turnout at our initial breakfast meeting on October 15, we will hold such meetings on the third Thursday of each month in an effort to attract more people who cannot make our dinner meetings. The November 19 breakfast will be held at the CASDA offices, as was the initial event, but the locations will vary after that.
PUBLICITY — Bill Dowd delivered 300+ copies of the updated club tri-panel brochure he created (it is shown on the club website), and he and Terry asked that members pick up several copies to distribute when they attend any event where they may find prospective members. Debbie Rodriguez suggested we use business-card sized handouts as well that give details about our clubs.
WEBSITE & FACEBOOK — Terry held a quiz about content on the website, something he plans to do on a semi-regular basis. He strongly urged members to make it a practice to check the website on a daily basis to stay informed about club news and activities as well as general Rotary news from all over. (A reminder: We also have a Facebook page for those who have Facebook accounts and enjoy that sort of social media. You can link to it from the website and vice versa. The Facebook page is the repository for our event schedule. That can be accessed directly or by going to the “Events Calendar” page on the website and clicking on the link.)