Monday, August 8, 2011

College Lacrosse Recruiting Series: Academics and Affordability First

Me in the 1985 NCAA semi finals championship game covering University of North Carolina’s All American midfielder Steve Martel in the Carrier Dome. 

When it comes to lacrosse and college, my advice is always choose an academic program that is both affordable and will help you develop your non-lacrosse passion. I also suggest a school that is relatively close to home say 4 or less hours from home if you want your folks to see you play and you want to make it home for holidays and special occasions. Then choose a school where there is a need for you at your position earlier rather than in your junior or senior year. Most competitive athletes come apart emotionally and get depressed when they are not playing; that happened to me on more than one occasion during my career. Ask important questions to coaches recruiting you. For example, how deep is a team’s roster is at your position? Remember in the fall of 1983 Syracuse had graduated three starting defensemen, that made SU appealing to me. Finally let me quote Lou Holtz as it is related to the stress one might feel when top coaches are evaluating you as a potential recruit: “You only succumb to stress if your are ill-prepared.” In short, make sure you are prepared physically, emotionally, and most important in my book, spiritually. That is, have your house in order. Success I say is when preparation meets opportunity.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jim Brown Named The inaugural Tewaaraton Legend

Coach Roy Simmons Jr. once told me the story of how Manhasset native Jim Brown came to Syracuse. Judge Kenny Molloy, a Syracuse alum, served as one of Brown’s mentors in Manhasset and he’s the one that influenced Jim to go Syracuse. Molloy also raised the tuition to pay for Brown’s first year and solicited a promise of a future scholarship from the SU Athletic department if he proved to be the superstar that his Manhasset patrons claimed he would be. You see Syracuse Football Coach Ben Schwartzwalder did not want African Americans on his team and he never made it easy for them to play under him. What few know is that Schwartzwalder reluctantly gave Brown a football scholarship after he was a walk on (non-scholarship athlete) is freshmen year and still refused to play him until injuries forced him to do so. “The Superintendent of Manhasset High School flew up to Syracuse and told me not to quit the football team when I was down about not playing. I went from 5th string to All-American in two years,” recalls Brown. Lacrosse proved different for Brown at Syracuse. Roy Simmons Sr. who also coached football gave Brown a fair shot and Jim dominated the game for three years (freshmen) did not play varsity in those days. In lacrosse at Syracuse, Brown earned Second Team All-American selection in 1956 and First Team in 1957. He also finished second in the nation in scoring his senior year as a member of an undefeated Syracuse Lacrosse squad that included my coach Roy Simmons Jr. In that year’s senior all-star game Brown scored five goals in one-half.