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The Suburbanite
  • Sunday Special: Two leagues waiting on Green

  • Monday is the deadline for schools invited to a meeting last month to let the league know if they are interested in becoming full Federal League members. And Green seems to be the key.

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  • This is an important week not just for the Federal League, but for the administrators of its six remaining schools. Monday is the deadline for schools invited to a meeting last month to let the league know if they are interested in becoming full Federal League members.
    The league looked at expansion north and invited Green, Wadsworth, Aurora, Barberton, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and Twinsburg. Aurora and Twinsburg are not interested in joining. Wadsworth was the latest to say no thanks. Stow and Cuyahoga Falls have yet to respond either way. Barberton, an independent, is trying to get into any league that will accept it, including the Suburban League.
    And then, there’s Green.
    Green has gone through a recent administration change with a new superintendent. Calls late last week were not returned by new superintendent Jeffrey Miller II or high school principal Cindy Brown.
    Green was the key player in Federal League expansion. But it is looking more likely Green could be alone in coming to the Federal League, if in fact it does. The Suburban League has received information from Stow and Cuyahoga Falls that both have “quite a bit of interest” in joining, according to commissioner Keith Walker.
    That gets the Suburban League closer to a two-division format: one for big schools and one for smaller schools. It would appease Green’s concern about gate revenues because, theoretically at least, those larger schools would bring more people.
    While Green is a charter member of the Suburban League, there are younger families from Stark County moving to the Green area, and more and more people could identify with the Federal League rather than the Suburban.
    It isn’t an easy decision for Green. The school, interestingly enough, took its nickname from McKinley High School (Bulldogs), and Massillon sent the school its first set of orange-and-black uniforms when it first started.
    Meanwhile, Walker is waiting to hear from Green on whether it plans to leave the Suburban League.
    “I’d be a little disappointed if they didn’t let us know first they were leaving,” Walker said. “If they’re going to stay, I can see where they wouldn’t have a need to say anything. But if they leave, I would hope we know something before the general public does.”
    SUBURBAN IN FRONT
    Walker said 12 schools were invited to the Suburban League’s meeting on expansion, He said ideally if eight schools would join, it would be the perfect combination for a two-division format based on enrollment size.
    “I figure some schools are probably not interested,” Walker said. “I think we were hoping eight would be, and the eight would fit right into our mix. We will get to working on that next month.”
    Page 2 of 3 - REPORTS OF GREEN LEAVING
    Walker acknowledged he has been made aware of internet reports on message boards and blogs that Green is leaving the Suburban League.
    He called Federal League commissioner Joe Eaton to see if there was any truth to it.
    “Joe said it was news to him,” Walker said. “I think it’s a tough decision for Green and they had not made up their minds as of (Friday).”
    WADSWORTH STAYING MAKES SENSE
    Wadsworth’s decision to stay in the Suburban League makes perfect sense. Wadsworth likely sees the direction the Suburban League is heading and likes the idea of a two-division league. And if something falls through, guess what?
    Wadsworth still is the big fish in the Suburban League’s pond. And if Green ultimately leaves? Wadsworth is an even bigger fish in the Suburban League.
    McCOLLLUM'S CONTRACT
    Initially there were no public reports of the contract C.J. McCollum signed as the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft by Portland. However, some details have emerged about the two-year contract McCollum signed, with an additional two years as a club option, according to spotrac.com.
    McCollum gets a guaranateed $4.74 million over the first two years, and then has club options the next two years for $2.52 million in 2015-16 and $3.2 million in 2016-17. His 2017-18 salary would be $4.385 million as a restricted free agent.
    If Portland keeps him all five years, McCollum will make $14.8 million. As long he provides productive minutes, McCollum is a good bet to earn the first four years of that contract, or about $10.5 million.
    PUTTING HIS DEGREE TO WORK
    McCollum has used his journalism degree to write a back-page column for Sports Illustrated as well as several on-camera pieces and many in print during his time at Lehigh University. He interviewed Adam Silver, who will replace David Stern as NBA commissioner, during the draft. That interview ran on Forbes.com.
    McCollum asked pretty good questions. Some of them were softballs, but they provided insight into how Silver views himself as the NBA’s future leader.
    Here’s a sampling:
    McCollum: Taking you back a little. ... Before Commissioner Stern put the dress code in place, players were wearing du-rags and large chains. I’d like to know how you would you grade my fashion?
    Silver: Before this interview started — and I mention this so people don’t think this is a setup — I complimented you on your vest. You definitely get an A. I don’t know if I could match checks and plaids the way you have, you’ve got to have a special touch to do that. Actually, I’d probably give you an A+, not just an A. I’m a little old school, everything’s got a looser fit, but you’re in style because everything is a little tighter and that’s the look. But as you go through the NBA training regimen, you’re going to have to leave a little room in the chest and shoulders.
    Page 3 of 3 - McCollum: As you know, I went to Lehigh University. I have to bring this up. Did you watch the game where we beat Duke, your alma mater? Are you still a Duke fan?
    Silver: Yes, I watched that game. And yes, I’m a Duke fan. You scored 30 points. I remember the game, and, well, the best team won. But that was a devastating loss for us. I’m a huge Duke fan. I obviously went to Duke, am a big fan of the program and Coach K., and I enjoyed working with Coach K and his assistants on the USA Basketball program over the last several years.
    McCollum: Sorry, didn’t want to bring it up, but I had to do it (laughing).
    KOUFOS IN MEMPHIS
    After a press conference to introduce Kosta Koufos, the Grizzlies, who made a draft night trade with Denver to get him, expressed positive sentiment about landing a player of Koufos’ ability. He will give them depth in the front court, likely playing behind Marc Gasol.
    By comparison, Koufos will earn $3 million next season and is guaranteed another $3 million in 2014-15.
    He becomes an unrestricted free agent after that.
    HIGH SCHOOL HALL OF FAME
    There now are 87 former Stark County high school football greats who are members of the Stark County High School Football Hall of Fame after the late Benny Battista, Ray Getz and Herm Jackson were inducted along with Travis McGuire, Norm Nicola, Leon Powell, Jay Rohr and Justin Zwick on Friday night.
    The speeches at the induction banquet are always heartfelt and entertaining. McGuire, however, may have had the best speech. He did it without notes and spoke from the heart. He remembered his first high school football game and the day he ran for 302 yards against McKinley in a win at Fawcett Stadium with 20,000 people in the stands.
    He said he couldn’t feel his legs because he was nervous that afternoon.
    Powell, who lives in Michigan, talked about people where he lives now speaking about the highest level of high school football there.
    “It’s nothing compared to here,” Powell said.