Joey Sankey overcomes difficulties of collegiate recruiting, becomes all-time points leader at North Carolina

first_imgJoey Sankey spent thousands of hours playing lacrosse in the small backyard of his twin home in Warminster, Pennsylvania.Every day, he’d play with his older brother, Ryan Sankey, for about 40 minutes until Ryan got bored, then he’d spend another hour or two practicing by himself.Sankey played so much that the grass was constantly torn up in his backyard. He ripped shot after shot on goal to the point that the neighboring house was covered in dents and his neighbor started stealing his lacrosse balls.“I would just be out there with my dog,” Sankey said. “I would shoot and she would chase it and I would have to get the ball back from her. It was a fun time.”Sankey, though, never expected the success he’d eventually receive. His dream didn’t extend past Salisbury, a small Division III school in Maryland. Instead, North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi took a chance on a player that most Division I coaches weren’t interested in because of his small stature.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSankey’s used his stick skills and gritty play to become the all-time career points leader at UNC. He’s been motivated and pushed by his father to help overcome his 5-foot-5 stature.And when he and the No. 2 Tar Heels (12-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) take the field against No. 4 Syracuse (9-2, 2-2) on Friday at 8 p.m. at PPL Park in the first round of the ACC tournament, Sankey will only be adding to his surprising career.“I was one of the few teams that looked at him and felt like he could make an impact,” Breschi said. “… He’s been tremendous for us for the past four years.”Sankey started playing lacrosse in first grade. But as with every other sport, he played with Ryan on a team two years above his age group, coached by his dad.His dad was tough on him, and so were his brothers. After any bad game, Sankey’s dad reminded him of his performance during the car ride home and at the dinner table. He and his brothers, one two years older and the other eight years older, would sometimes get into fights.“Both of them could still kick my ass, but I definitely had to try and get as tough as I could from them,” Sankey said.Sankey idolized former Syracuse star Mikey Powell, trying to imitate his moves from highlight reels posted to YouTube.Eventually Sankey’s neighbors complained to his parents about the dents in their home and Sankey’s dad bought a batting cage for Sankey to shoot in. As he got older, Sankey needed to shoot farther away from the net, so he cut one side off the batting cage and was able to shoot from anywhere in his yard.“There was a lot of pressure to not be known as the coach’s son who’s just on the team because he’s the coach’s son,” Sankey said. “I was always really conscious of that and never wanted people to think that I got anything just because of my dad.”People questioned Sankey’s size and fragility, but when he played well against a team with D-I committed lacrosse players at a club tournament during his freshman season, he realized D-III wasn’t his ceiling.The public high school by Sankey’s house didn’t have a lacrosse team, so he attended William Penn Charter (Pennsylvania), a private school with a highly rated lacrosse team.When Sankey arrived at UNC, he looked at the players in front of him, including now-Syracuse senior Nicky Galasso, and wasn’t convinced he could find playing time.“I definitely questioned myself,” Sankey said. “… I was a little doubtful of whether I could do it or not.”In scout team practice, Sankey impressed, grabbing passes and scoring behind the back in midair, before earning a spot on the field.“Even guys like Jack McBride who was already a two-time All-American would stop and watch,” UNC attack Jimmy Bitter said.Now three years later, Sankey’s second on the team with 60 points and has 217 in his career. Everything he’s been able to accomplish goes back to his early years of playing lacrosse and the hours he dedicated in his backyard.Said Sankey: “I think that definitely made me the player I am today.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 22, 2015 at 10:04 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuslast_img read more

NCAA rule changes: Agents for ‘elite’ prospects, back to school after the draft and independent investigations

first_imgIt’s effective immediately for college players, who can hire an agent after a season, pending an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. All agents will be certified by the NCAA.For high school recruits, the NCAA has also expanded on official visits, allowing a player to take up to 15. The visits breakdown like this: five between Aug. 1 to the end of an athlete’s junior year of high school, five from the end of junior year to Oct. 15 after graduation, then five more from then to the end of their college eligibility. This is effective Aug. 15, 2018. On the draft front, college players who declared early from 2016-18 all had until 10 days after the combine to withdraw from the draft. The new rules allow players to stay in the draft, and if they are not picked, return to school. This rule will become effective when the NBA changes rules making college returnees ineligible until the completion of their next collegiate season. Athletes will be required to go to the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee before entering the draft early.Lastly, if a men’s or women’s basketball player does leave for the pros early but returns to the same school to finish their degree, the school is now obligated to pay for “tuition, fees and books” for that athlete.Cleaning up the recruiting trailEffective January 2019, the NCAA will more strictly and rigorously certify basketball-related events for high schoolers. Criteria for certification and administration of certification will be handled in-house by the NCAA.With these tighter restrictions, there will be fewer non-high school related basketball events for coaches to attend, so the NCAA has tweaked the recruiting calendar. The new rules will allow college coaches to attend more high school-sanctioned events.Added to the calendar are four-day periods, Monday through Thursday, in April; the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp in June; a choice of two events the last two weekends in June, if the events have National Federation of State High School Associations approval, organized by groups affiliated with high schools and takes place at a middle school, high school or college and lastly, coaches can attend one weekend youth basketball event in early July.Still, the limits on days (130) an individual coach can recruit remain. Coaches will also be able to attend a new collaborative event in late July in the NCAA youth development camps. All this goes into effect in April 2019.In a move for transparency, coaches and athletics staff are also mandated to disclose basketball-related income greater than $600 not coming from their university.One of the biggest moves, which touches on the very crux of the FBI’s corruption and fraud investigation, is the NCAA is pursuing agreements with apparel companies. The deals are about “expectations for accountability and transparency regarding their involvement in youth basketball.”The NCAA is hoping in the agreements to have requirements that the apparel companies make annual disclosures, remain NCAA certified and report any potential violations.Investigation, enforcement, accountabilityAs part of the omnibus of new rules, coaches and university presidents, as terms of employment, must commit contractually to cooperate fully with investigations. This applies to contracts and appointments on or after Aug. 8, 2018. Penalties will be effective in February 2019.In this instance, full cooperation means “reporting violations in a timely manner; sharing all knowledge and documents requested in a timely manner; providing access to all electronic devices, social media and other technology; and maintaining confidentiality.”The NCAA is also holding university presidents and chancellors “personally accountable” for the failings of their athletic departments. That goes into effect in August 2019 for Division I.“College or university presidents are ultimately responsible for the behavior of the people involved in their athletics programs,” said Bud Peterson, Georgia Tech President and Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, on Wednesday’s teleconference.Further, the NCAA has tweaked the investigation process in an effort to create more efficient and fair outcomes. Primarily, the NCAA has created an independent investigation unit. Facebook Twitter Google+ The NCAA Board of Governors released an array of new rules pertaining to college basketball Wednesday afternoon. The rule changes are a response to the recommendations of the Commission on College Basketball, or “Rice Commission” — created in response to the 2017 FBI investigation into corruption in college hoops to investigate the causes of the corruption and offer recommendations to fixing it.NCAA President Mark Emmert said on a teleconference with the NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday: “The boards have now adopted the recommendations of the Rice Commission, and I couldn’t be more pleased with that outcome. They’re, in general, aimed at eliminating some of the corrosive influences that we’ve seen in college basketball.“We’re trying to strengthen the integrity of the game and strengthen the accountability of all of us that work inside the game. And at the same time, do that in a way that provides student athletes with much more flexibility about their decisions.”The new rules are designed to eliminate or mitigate the factors that led to the corruption scandal and arrests of several coaches that rocked college basketball almost a year ago. Rules range from allowing “elite” high school prospects to hire agents to mandating schools provide scholarships for athletes returning to finish their degree.Here’s a rundown of the changes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMore freedom for student-athletesOne of the biggest highlights of the rule changes is also the biggest hit to the NCAA’s veil of amateurism: Allowing “elite” high school and college prospects to hire an agent, though there will be no financial relationship between players and agents outside of some meals and transportation, according to the NCAA. High school prospects will be chosen as “elite” by USA Basketball, the NCAA announced.ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweeted Wednesday that the NCAA hadn’t conferred with USA Basketball on this rule. Published on August 8, 2018 at 3:19 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamcenter_img Emmert, on the teleconference, noted that the relationships between the NCAA, NBA and USA Basketball have never been better during his nearly eight-year tenure as NCAA president.There’s another snag: This rule, for high schoolers, at least, won’t be implemented until the NBA and NBA Players Association end the “one-and-done” rule. The process starts with a case being sent to the new Infractions Referral Committee, filled by NCAA officials. If the case is deemed “complex” or serious enough, it will be sent on to the Complex Case Unit.This group, made of independent external investigators and select NCAA enforcement staff, will determine if the case needs more investigation. From there, it will investigate and then pass the case on to the Independent College Sports Adjudication Panel.This panel, made of 15 people with “legal, higher education and/or sports backgrounds who are not affiliated with NCAA member schools or conferences,” will ultimately oversee case hearings and hand down penalties. Only five members sit on a panel per case.In the new investigations process, groups are now allowed to use facts from new sources like courts and government agencies, among others. Also, when a school and the NCAA agree on the facts of a case, there is new framework to work together on resolutions to reduce costs and time.Lastly, the NCAA will be imposing harsher penalties, namely longer suspensions and postseason bans, but also scholarship reductions and reduced revenue sharing for a delinquent school.Senior Staff Writer Matt Liberman contributed reporting. Commentslast_img read more