Extra Year for Duke Equals Record Book Debate

Extra Year for Duke Equals Record Book Debate

Extra Year for Duke Equals Record Book Debate

Extra Year for Duke Equals Record Book Debate

Whatever your thoughts may be about the NCAA granting an additional year of eligibility to almost every member of the 2006 Duke University men�s lacrosse team, one thing is for sure � it will likely create a rather significant impact on the records book.

For both super-senior Matt Danowski and the recently re-christened junior Zack Greer, it not only means more lacrosse and another chance at a title run. It offers the pair of offensive standouts an opportunity for their names to live on in the annals of lacrosse for some time to come.

However, this is not the first time that the NCAA Lacrosse Records Book has been associated with controversy.

Syracuse great Paul Gait�s records have been almost entirely vacated from the archive because it was found that he was ineligible for the Orange�s 1990 title run. Also, the man who is officially listed as No. 1 on the all-time points list, the Air Force Academy�s Joe Vasta (1983-86), did not even play a full Division I schedule. In fact, during his four-year stint, he only played against six total DI opponents.

So there is plenty of evidence to suggest that indeed, precedent for this type of thing definitely exists, and that the NCAA has made several unpopular decisions like this in the past.

Through his four years as a Blue Devil, Danowski has registered 256 points, which currently ties him for 15th on the all-time points list with Cornell�s Eamon McEneaney (1975-77), just ahead of Gary Gait�s (Syracuse � 1987-90) 253.

Danowski also ranks tied for 25th on the career assists list (127) with Ohio State�s Terry Gilmore (1976-79). He does not, however, crack the Top-25 list for goals yet, with his 129 mark. In order to do so, he would need to best Marist�s Paul Donahue (1999-2002), who ended his career with 145.

The fact of the matter is though, based on his previous statistical body of work, if Danowski has even an average 2008 season, he would net 76 points. Combined with his current 256, that would give him 332 points, and would technically rank him second all-time, only behind Vasta (1983-86), who is credited with 343, and ahead of Tim Nelson�s 320 (NC St./Syracuse � 1982-1985).

But if as predicted, Danowski has another 90-100 point season, he should register anywhere between 346 and 356, which would be the new all-time record. Additionally, he is a preseason favorite to earn the Tewaaraton Trophy once again, which would make him only the second player to ever win it twice � Michael Powell the first � since the award was first presented in 2001.

*As a side note, many people seem to believe that Michael Powell ranks ahead of Nelson on the all-time points list. This is true of the records at Syracuse, but not for the NCAA. Nelson was actually a transfer from NC State when they had a DI program, and totaled more points over his entire career (one year with NC State, three with Syracuse) than Powell.

After essentially being granted another chance at his junior season, Zack Greer is well on pace to stand atop the all-time goals list after four years of play. He�s totaled 190 points on 141 goals and 49 assists.

Gary Gait currently holds the record for most career goals with 192. Greer on the other hand, is only four goals away from reaching the Top-25. With another 52 tallies, Greer will eclipse the 18-year mark held by Gait, and he would still have another year to put the record way out of reach.

Greer�s current goals per game average is 2.94, and assuming he plays in 18 games this season by virtue of a Duke postseason run, he should have no problem reaching that number this season.

There is a good chance that Greer would have surpassed the fellow-Canadian Gait�s total in only four years anyway, but the potential fifth year will likely make a mockery of the record.

The fact is, these two are bound to break many of these records, Danowski in his fifth year, and Greer in his fourth. If Greer were to play a fifth year, the goal statistics that he could put up would be absolutely untouchable.

One current Division I coach vented his frustration over the NCAA�s ruling, and still wondered how the national collegiate sports governing body can justify the additional year for the players.

�I genuinely think the players got screwed,� he said. �But they got screwed by Duke, not the NCAA, and I just can�t imagine that the Rules Committee voted for this, and I don�t understand the rationale. The politics behind the decision baffles me.�

The coach went on to suggest that some sort of asterisk should be used in the record book to explain that the eight games from the Blue Devils� shortened 2006 season are included in the heightened totals.

Art Chase, Duke�s director of sports information, thinks that while this decision � to allow the players from the 2006 squad to play another year and have their extended career totals count in the records book � is and will remain contentious, but in the end, players do not play for individual accolades.

�The beauty of a team sport like lacrosse is that unless you�re winning championships, individual points don�t mean a whole lot,� Chase said. �Someone like Matt Danowski would be the first to tell you that.�

Chase believes that the closest comparison to including the stats from the 2006 season in the record book would be to a medical redshirt year, and that doing so is the correct decision, backed by both the NCAA, and all 12 ACC schools.

According to the 2007-08 NCAA Statistics� Policies Manual under the Career Statistics sub-head:

Jim Wright, director of statistics for the NCAA, said that there are currently no hang-ups concerning the application of the rule to the Duke players or how those numbers will be applied to the records book.

�[T]here is no issue from a stats standpoint,� Wright explained via email. �Any and all contests count in career stats as long as they are eligible to compete. We in stats don�t have a say in those issues, so once they are cleared to play (regardless of the sport or the circumstances), all stats will count for any and all players.�

Chase went on to say that NCAA teams in every sport are playing more games, and that the best way now to judge an individual�s career achievements compared to those before them, is to put an emphasis on the points-per-game category.

�Across the board, teams are competing in more contests than ever before,� he said. �Utilizing the points-per-game record throws out the argument that Player �X� has an advantage over Player �Y.��

If one were to base Danowski�s statistical career strictly on this, then his career 4.20 points-per-game would currently fall short of cracking the Top-25. At this time, the 25th spot is occupied by three players � Brian Piccola (Johns Hopkins � 1991-95), and from Syracuse, John Zulberti (1986-89) and Tom Marechek (1989-92) � all with a 4.45 average.

But for Greer, he would rank 13th all-time in goals-per-game with his 2.94 average, ahead of Franz Wittelsberger (Johns Hopkins � 1973-76) and Tom Abbott�s (Syracuse � 1975-78) tie of 2.90, but just below Cord Knodel�s (Canisius � 1994-97) 2.97, and John Grant, Jr.�s (Delaware � 1998-99) 3.00.

However, with the additional year, both Danowski and Greer have a favorable chance of improving those numbers.

To view the NCAA Lacrosse Records Book, visit their website.

You can also read the Statistics Policy Manual here.

Current NCAA Statistical Leaders:


1. Joe Vasta (AFA) 1983-86: 343 (no games listed)

2. Tim Nelson (NC St./Syracuse) 1982/1983-85: 320 (57 games)

3. Darren Lowe (Brown) 1989-92: 316 (61 games)

4. Chris Cameron (Lehigh) 1986-89: 307 (55 games)

4. Mikey Powell (Syracuse) 2001-04: 307 (66 games)

Other notables�

6. Mike French (Cornell) 1974-76: 296 (47 games)

7. Casey Powell (Syracuse) 1995-98: 287 (58 games)

7. Ryan Powell (Syracuse) 1997-2000: 287 (61 games)

13. John Zulberti (Syracuse) 1986-89: 267 (60 games)

14. Tom Marechek (Syracuse) 1989-92: 258 (58 games)

16. Gary Gait (Syracuse) 1987-90: 253 (56 games)

Points-Per Game Top-3:

1. Stan Cockerton (NC St.) 1977-80: 6.32 (278 in 44 games)

2. Mike French (Cornell) 1974-76: 6.30 (296 in 47 games)

3. Dennis Fink (Drexel) 1976-78: 5.89 (206 in 35 games)

Goals Top-3:

1. Gary Gait (Syracuse) 1987-90: 192 (56 games)

2. Mike French (Cornell) 1974-76: 191 (47 games)

2. Stan Cockerton (NC St.) 1977-80: 191 (44 games)

4. Terry Riordan (Johns Hopkins) 1992-95: 184 (56 games)

Assists Top-3:

1. Tim Nelson (NC St./Syracuse) 1982/1983-85: 221 (57 games)

2. Darren Lowe (Brown) 1989-92: 205 (61 games)

3. Chris Cameron (Lehigh) 1986-89: 185 (55 games)

Post A Comment To This Story >

(no subject)
    by (#154678) on 1/19/08 @2:03AM
personally i think they should just take the shortened years stats out of the records because then the duke players from the 2006 year will only have 4 years worth of stats to get whatever records that they can break instead of having 4 years and 8 games maybe i am the only one who thinks this but that is just my opinion
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Good thought..............
    by (#78222) on 1/20/08 @8:57AM
but given the fact that Vasta is still on top of the point heap despite playing only six D1 opponents in FOUR years, don't look for it. GO GULLS!!
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    by (#144723) on 1/20/08 @1:06PM
I hate duke
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Poor comparison
    by (#183553) on 2/02/08 @1:45PM
If someone recieves a medical red shirt it is because they got hurt. If you are involved in a situation that you shouldn't be in and the school sanctions the entire team for it then you shouldn't get eligibility left. The whole purpose of school is to graduate, not get extra athletics out of it. Why are we putting athletics ahead of academics?
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(no subject)
    by (#183952) on 2/07/08 @2:59PM
I believe these guys deserve to have another season and anything they add to thier career stats has been earned. they had the 2006 season stolen from them, where found innocent, then came back last year and went all the way. There good players on a good team who has had to overcome a year of adversity. i feel they earn everything they get. Including records.
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(no subject)
    by (#185911) on 2/18/08 @9:11PM
those are good points but those kids had their lives screwed up . is it that bad that they want to have one good memory of their college lax career at least let them go for it. the lax community owes them that much
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(no subject)
    by (#185725) on 2/19/08 @11:54AM
Well first of all I just want to say that Gary Gait does not hold the record for most goals, Stan Cockerton does with 193. So I dunno whats going on with these stats but they are definitely flawed. As for the Duke case, the only way to make it fair it to not count any of the stats from the 2006 season.
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take it up with the NCAA then.....
    by (#2) on 2/20/08 @6:01PM
because Stan has 191 according to them:

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(no subject)
    by (#185725) on 2/20/08 @8:54PM
YEa i know what it says but Mike French held the record with 191 before Stan who then beat that in 1978 with 193, so i dont get it. (stan is my dad btw)
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