George Guido: Riverview coach Chuck Wagner’s legacy crops up again

By: HSSN Staff
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 | 8:23 PM

Late coach Chuck Wagner’s legacy lives on.

Three people who played for Wagner at Riverview had roles in last week’s Outback Bowl in Tampa.

• Bob Shoop (1984 Riverview graduate) is the defensive coordinator for Mississippi State.

• Paul Federici (1981) is the director of football operations at Iowa.

• Jeff Maust (1980) lives in the Tampa area and does the sticks every year at the Outback Bowl no matter which teams are playing.

Wagner, who retired after the 2011 season, is fifth in all-time WPIAL coaching victories with 270, accumulated while at Oakmont, Riverview, Fox Chapel and Springdale.

Wagner died Sept. 25, 2017, at age 82.

Nazareth Prep

A school in the WPIAL basketball alignment that readers might not recognize is Nazareth Prep.

Nazareth Prep is rated No.3 in this week’s TribHSSN Class A rankings.

The school used to be known as Holy Family Academy, located along Route 65 in Emsworth. But there was some confusion with a similarly named social services provider.

School officials changed the name to Nazareth Prep on April 5, in what they said was “to clarify a distinction between the private Catholic school and Holy Family Institute,” according to the school’s website.

The name change came after the WPIAL made up the master schedule for this season.

Nazareth Prep plays in Section 1-A against schools such as Cornell, Eden Christian and Vincentian.

The school will make one appearance in the Alle-Kiski Valley this season: Jan. 23 at Burrell.

Nazareth Prep graduated its first senior class last June.

Davenport controversy

The suspension of Alabama’s Maori Davenport, one of the top female high school basketball players in the nation, shows no signs of subsiding.

Davenport was suspended by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the state’s equivalent of the PIAA, on Nov. 30 for accepting a check for $857.20 from USA Basketball.

The check was designed to pay the Charles Henderson High School student for lost wages while performing for the USA Basketball team in Mexico City.

Under Alabama’s rules, no money can be accepted by a high school player for any reason. Records show Davenport cashed the check in late August.

The monetary compensation was reported three months later to the AHSAA, and Davenport’s mother returned the money to USA Basketball on Nov. 28.

After receiving criticism from numerous local and national commentators and athletes, including ESPN’s Jay Bilas during the telecast of Saturday’s Alabama vs. Kentucky game, AHSAA Central Board president Johnny Hardin issued a lengthy statement Monday morning detailing the circumstances behind the one-year suspension.

Davenport already has signed with Rutgers. A senior at Charles Henderson, her one-year suspension essentially ends her high school career.

If you’re wondering, here’s what the PIAA says about receiving compensation:

“Amateur status, and eligibility, is lost if you, or your parent(s) or guardian(s), receive money or property for or related to your athletic ability, participation, performance, services, or training in a sport.”

Student-athletes can receive awards such as apparel from the school boosters club, a service organization approved by the school principal or the news media.

Among the approved items are letter jackets, watches, rings, medals and plaques, as long as the items are identified by school or institutional insignia.

The PIAA said the fair market value of the items cannot exceed $500. If they do, the items in excess of $500 must be returned.

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.


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