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YSU, Raptor get ratings of approval



Published: Sun, May 20, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



News from the week that was:

U Youngstown State coach John Robic quickly cautions fans excited over the university's move to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference not to expect immediate success like the Penguins enjoyed last season in the Mid-Continent Conference.

To a point, we agree with the coach. The competition will be much more stiff on a nightly basis in the new conference, and there will be four road trips to schools from the Mid-Con, as part of the university's agreement to forego the normal two-year waiting period to sever relations.

But, things that impress us about Robic are his recruiting and scheduling.

Expanding recruiting base: Robic, to this point, has brought in players from areas he had contacts; mainly, the Northeast.

Now, he understands he'll be able to slide his recruiting base westward into Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

As for the schedule, we saw a hint of Robic's plan when he scheduled teams like Boston College and Detroit. Obviously, Robic doesn't want to over-schedule, i.e., loading the slate with highly-ranked teams and risking a loss of confidence.

But, to prepare for a tougher conference schedule, Robic knows he must play bigger and better opponents than a full rote of Division II and lowly-ranked Div. I programs.

U Joe Votino's dismissal as boys basketball coach at Kennedy Christian doesn't come as a surprise, but the way the whole situation has been handled has done nothing but fuel the fires of rumor.

Perhaps when we know the whole story some of this will make sense, but for now we have to wonder why Votino was "fired." With a cloud of accusations hanging over him -- that have yet to be fully detailed and substantiated -- wouldn't it have been a better public relations move for school officials to allow Votino to resign?

Should be told: Perhaps that option was presented to Votino and he declined. With none of the key players in this scenario talking, we don't know what was offered.

Even though we're told it is Diocese policy to not discuss personnel moves, in this case it would be in the school's best interest to answer the many questions surrounding this situation.

U Last week, we applauded the Ohio High School Athletic Association for approving a second football scrimmage this summer.

Well, this week we must take the organization to task.

Western Reserve High School won a sectional softball championship ... and was rewarded with a two-hour trip to Ashland for the district tournament.

You can argue that the coaches at Western Reserve were aware of this possibility at the tournament drawing, but the point is, that option shouldn't even be in the mix.

Making this scenario even more ludicrous: If the Blue Devils win their district championship game Monday against Loudonville, they will play in the regional semifinal at Kent State University.

U The Toronto Raptors' Vince Carter will earn two things today, and maybe three. First, he'll be in Chapel Hill, N.C., to receive his degree from the University of North Carolina, which will earn him a long-distance "thumbs-up" from this corner. When the news is all too often clogged with athletes and former athletes getting themselves into and out of trouble, it is refreshing to see a young man make a decision to leave school early for economic reasons, but also stay aware of the importance of receiving his education.

Deciding game: The third thing Carter may earn: A trip to the NBA Eastern Conference finals, if his Raptors defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of their playoff series.

U The Army-Navy game will not be played in Philadelphia in 2002 because a medical convention will take up too many hotel rooms.

Sounds like a commie pinko plot to us.

XRob Todor is sports editor of The Vindicator. Write to him at todor@vindy.com.




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