Darron Wallace gave up an Ivy League scholarship and found something different than he expected at Syracuse

first_img Published on October 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm Contact John: jmacce@syr.edu Darron Wallace sat in the Schine Student Center dining area on a Friday at the beginning of the first semester of his junior year. Simply being there, at Syracuse, Wallace has fully committed to the life he wants to live, even though, to many, he gave up too much.Three years ago, at Montgomery (New Jersey) High School, Wallace was a football and basketball standout. On the gridiron, he starred on both sides of the ball, receiving interest from Division I football programs like Penn State. But, in a practice in August of his junior year, everything changed.His team was doing 40-yard dashes on the track and it was Darron’s turn. He took his mark, ran, crossed the line and then he heard a “pop!”It was his left knee.The injury redirected Wallace’s life and landed him at Syracuse. Since he decided to come to SU, friends and family often asked why he stopped playing football and why he turned down an Ivy League scholarship. To Wallace, the answer is simple. He always wanted to play college basketball more than anything else, and, after SU basketball cut him, he lives that dream on the club team.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“There was disbelief in the way he got injured,” said Zoran Milich, Wallace’s high school football coach. “Then I thought he might be out a day or two, at the most.”Doctors diagnosed a torn PCL in his left knee. While Wallace was thankful it was not as devastating as an ACL, it still ended his junior season, the most important to earn the big-time football offers he sought. Zack Tamuzza, a friend of Wallace’s, could not believe what happened.“We all knew how great of a player Darron was since he was a little kid,” Tamuzza said. “Sitting in the student section without him there was devastating,”Wallace didn’t have surgery but chose to rehab and limped all through his junior season of basketball. Not being fully healthy for basketball season made Wallace question whether football was worth the pain he felt during the slog of practices and games.“I played the whole year on one knee,” Wallace said.After a painful yet successful basketball season, Wallace decided to stay with football. He played well enough during his senior season to earn the attention of Ivy League schools, like Cornell and Dartmouth. The Big Red came to Wallace’s practices and the two parties talked back and forth. Dartmouth and Penn were there, he said, but Cornell remained persistent, so Wallace went on official visit. In order to make the schedules work, he skipped two basketball games.While in Ithaca, all Wallace could think about was how his basketball team back home was playing. He knew then he didn’t want to play football in college. While it may seem difficult to give up a scholarship and an Ivy League education, Wallace found the decision easy.“I could not keep playing,” Wallace said. “When I knew I would be in the training room every day, doing hours of treatment, on top of practice and schoolwork, it was not hard to decide.”So, Wallace needed to make his next step. When he got his college admission decisions back, he decided on Syracuse so he could be close to home. Still thinking he had the athleticism to play basketball, Wallace tried to walk on to the Orange basketball team. Throughout the tryout process, he practiced with the likes of Tyus Battle and Frank Howard, and still talks with some of the players. He also met coaches Adrian Autry and former assistant Mike Hopkins.After a few rounds of tryout cuts, Wallace didn’t get an invite to come back the next day. He came to the tough realization many walk-ons must face. After the whole process, Wallace said Syracuse basketball did not give him a fair shot.“I thought it was very political,” Wallace said. “Adrian Autry’s son tried out and he made it, and I thought I was better than him.”Wallace returned to being a regular student, going to class while he tried to move on after coming up short on his dream. But then, in the fall of his sophomore year, he discovered another athletic outlet he’d always had in the form of club basketball. After talking to his friend on the team, he went to tryouts.This time, he made it.“I am so happy I found it because it fuels competitive fire,” Wallace said, “and I get to keep playing.”In the Schine Dining Center, Wallace gathered his things. People gathered across the room for an alumni event. Wallace picked up his food tray, needing to leave for a 3 p.m. lecture. Before he left for class, he turned around.“I would have been lost without being able to play,” he said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Chelsea will have to pay £4m in compensation to take Lampard from Derby

first_imgLampard is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer Sarri is closing in on a return to Italy with Juventus Sarri, who guided Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League and a Europa League win, will complete a return to Italy after a single season in English football. Other managers have been linked with the role, but it is understood Lampard is now Chelsea’s top choice to replace the outgoing Italian.Massimiliano Allegri, who had been touted as a potential candidate for the role, announced on Thursday he is to take a year out of football after leaving Juventus.Lampard still has two years on his existing contract, and it is understood while he would find it impossible to turn Chelsea down if an offer is made to him, he is also very respectful of Derby’s fans and the club’s owner, Mel Morris, who gave him his first chance as a manager. Lampard spent 13 years in west London, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League, and Champions League, becoming the club’s all-time top goalscorer in the process.Morris, who started his playing career at Chelsea, impressed as a youth coach at Stamford Bridge before leaving to join Lampard at Derby.Both have an acute understanding of the club’s youth setup and players who are out on loan, which could be vital given their impending transfer ban.Chelsea have appealed against their two-window transfer ban imposed by FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.If Chelsea appoint Lampard, he will be the first English manager to take charge of the club in 23 years. Source: Scenter_img Under the terms of his current deal, any club wishing to take him is required to pay £3.5m in compensation to Derby and that figure rises to £4m if the buying club is playing Champions League football, which Chelsea will be doing next season.With negotiations and legal discussions yet to start, it is thought it may still take a week or more before Lampard could be introduced as the new Chelsea manager.Lampard enjoyed an impressive debut season in management, leading Derby to the Championship play-off final where they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa.Chelsea are facing the prospect of a two-window transfer ban but would be appointing two figures with a deep understanding of the club should Lampard return alongside his Derby assistant Jody Morris. Derby will demand £4m in compensation if Chelsea are to take Frank Lampard as their new manager – though there is a clause in his contract which allows him to move, according to Sky Sports News.Chelsea are yet to make a formal approach, but Derby are bracing themselves for that to happen now an agreement has been reached for Maurizio Sarri to take over at Juventus.Sky in Italy understand that, while Chelsea and Juventus have agreed the details of Sarri’s move to Turin, he will not be confirmed until the Premier League club have finalised plans for his replacement, who they hope will be Lampard. Maurizio Sarri won the Europa League trophy with Chelsealast_img read more

Brown stays on airport board

first_imgThe judge said Brown’s comments brought balance to an emotional case related to a gang accused in the slaying of Burbank police Officer Matthew Pavelka. “I find the comments very offensive and upsetting,” said Burbank police Detective Michael Pavelka, Matthew Pavelka’s father. “In light of what happened, I can’t conceive how Mr. Brown could say anything positive on behalf of Mr. Schaffer. It’s something I live with every day – the loss of my son.” The rookie officer was killed in a 2003 shootout with suspected Vineland Boys members. Brown, a 41-year veteran of the department who was appointed in 2001 to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority board, said he returned a phone call from a probation officer regarding Schaffer’s sentencing. In a March 2 letter to the council, he said he didn’t ask for leniency for Schaffer, but rather answered questions about how he knew Schaffer and for how long, including his past involvement in local charities. “I told what I knew of him,” wrote Brown, whose term will expire in June. “I told the truth.” Ramos said that, as a public figure, Brown should have watched his words more carefully. “I know, as appointed or elected officials, all of our words, private and personal, are subject to scrutiny,” she said. Still, Councilmen Jef Vander Borght and David Golonski said Brown shouldn’t be dismissed for voicing an opinion that might be unpopular. “I think he said what he believed was truthful, and has a right to do that, no matter how much we don’t like it,” Golonski said. Brown knew Schaffer, a Glendale businessman who served on the Glendale Water and Power Commission, for at least five years. He had ties with former Burbank Councilwoman Stacey Murphy, Schaffer’s then-girlfriend, who was convicted in the Vineland Boys probe on drug and child-endangerment charges. eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BURBANK – Bob Hope Airport Commissioner Don Brown has won a reprieve from potential dismissal after speaking on behalf of a friend convicted in the Vineland Boys probe. Brown, a retired Burbank Police Department lieutenant, made comments to a probation officer that helped secure a reduced sentence for Scott Schaffer, a former City Hall insider convicted of trading guns for cocaine with members of the Sun Valley-based gang. The police rank and file and City Councilwoman Marsha Ramos have pressed for Brown’s removal for weeks, but after testimony Tuesday night from both critics and supporters, several council members declined calls for a formal dismissal hearing. Instead, the panel ordered the city attorney to try to obtain Schaffer’s pre-sentencing report, which is under seal. Mayor Todd Campbell said he had hoped to question Brown, who did not appear at Tuesday’s meeting. “I would like to have a hearing that actually gets to the bottom of this,” he said. But Lt. Pat Lynch of the Burbank Police Officers Association said he was disappointed by the decision. While the pre-sentencing report may end speculation over what Brown actually said, it won’t change Schaffer’s sentence, and it leaves the commissioner overseeing an airport near Vineland Boys territory. Schaffer, 53, was sentenced Feb. 12 to 13 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2005 to a charge of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Prosecutors had sought a 21-month sentence. Calls for Brown’s ouster came after U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter said he gave Schaffer a lighter sentence in part because of a “glowing recommendation” from the airport commissioner. last_img read more