Orangeyes Daily Articles for Monday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Monday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to The Start of Ramadan!

Officials saw the crescent moon Sunday night in Saudi Arabia, home to the holiest sites in Islam, marking the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan for many of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims.

The sacred month, which sees those observing abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset, marks a period of religious reflection, family get-togethers and giving across the Muslim world. Seeing the moon Sunday night means Monday is the first day of the fast.

Saudi state television reported that authorities there saw the crescent moon. Soon after, multiple Gulf Arab nations, as well as Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Yemen followed the announcement to confirm they as well would start fasting on Monday. North American Muslims also will begin their fast Monday.

SU News

WATCH: Interview with Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown (localsyr.comi; video; Infanti)

Lots of new buzz has been surrounding the Syracuse Orange football program since new head coach Fran Brown took the helm.

Brown sat down for an interview with Steve Infanti for Orange Nation and discussed adapting to a new program and city, recruiting transfer quarterback Kyle McCord, preparing for the spring game and more.

You can watch the full interview in the video player above.

Syracuse football: Where does the 2024 Orange recruiting class rank? (TNIAAM; Tomaiuolo)
The Syracuse Orange football spring practice season is right around the corner.

First-year head coach Fran Brown will take the field for the first time in SU’s first spring practice on March 21. Following 14 practices that span over four weeks, the annual Orange Spring Game on April 20 will be the first event open to the public.

But what about his inaugural recruiting class? Quarterback Kyle McCord is a huge get from the transfer portal, but what about those players coming right from high school. Here’s where recruiting sites are ranking the 2024 Syracuse class.

247Sports: 34th overall, 7th in ACC

The highest rating by any website, 247Sports is particularly fond of incoming edge rusher KingJoseph Edwards from Georgia, giving him the best rating (90 grade) by far compared to the other three sources. The Orange also ranks 23rd nationally with their transfer class, the best mark since 247Sports began tracking in 2019.

Rivals: 36th overall, 8th in ACC

Similarly, Rivals has SU middle-of-the-pack in the ACC. It’s particularly fond of running back signee Yasin Willis, the only source to give him a four-star rating. The Montvale, New Jersey native ranks second overall in his state, just ahead of another new Orangemen, wide receiver Emanuel Ross.

On3: 38th overall, 9th in ACC

On3 drops Syracuse below Stanford and Georgia Tech in the conference recruiting standings. The site loves Ross, tight end Jamie Tremble, and cornerback Marcellus Barnes. Another Garden State product, Ross ranks 44th of all receivers in the country, receiving a four-star, 94 overall grade. Tremble and Barnes, both southeastern U.S. recruits, also boast four-star grades, rounding out On3’s top three Orangemen.

HS Football ✅
Checkout my senior year highlights!Senior Season HL
— Emanuel Ross (@EmanuelRoss13) December 2, 2023

ESPN: 42nd overall, 9th in ACC

Rounding out the group, ESPN has SU as the lowest-ranked of the four sites, favoring multiple Big 10 schools over the Orange that other places flip-flopped. However, ESPN was the only recruiting site to give defensive end Caden Brown four stars instead of three. Hailing from Brooklyn, the edge rusher pivoted from Rutgers to Syracuse after Brown’s hiring.

(youtube; podcast; Axe)
On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports presented by Crouse Health,'s Brent Axe and Emily Leiker catch up with new SU football offensive coordinator Jeff Nixon.Jeff tells Brent and Emily why he took the job at Syracuse and about his memories of Syracuse football and connection with former OC George DeLeone. Nixon also lays out what his vision is for the Syracuse offense, describes the attributes transfer QB Kyle McCord brings to the offense, what RB LeQuint Allen can learn from some of the players he has coached in the NFL, his recruiting philosophy, what the Tommy DeVito experience was like with the Giants and some of his favorite things about living in Syracuse so far.

Answering 4 key questions about the 2024 Syracuse football schedule (youtube; podcast; Axe)

On the latest episode of Syracuse Sports presented by Crouse Health, Brent Axe and Emily Leiker debate four key questions about the 2024 Syracuse football schedule.1. What is the most anticipated game on the schedule?2. What is the toughest stretch on the schedule?3. What opponent could spring a surprise on Syracuse?4. What is your way-too-early record prediction for the 2024 SU football season?

Syracuse football scores a visit from an elite All-American, 4-star offensive lineman (itlh; Adler)
One of the top offensive linemen across the country in the 2026 class will visit Syracuse football in early April.

According to a recent tweet from The Juice on Rivals, four-star sophomore All-American Darius Gray from Virginia will make a trip to the Orange on April 2, which is fantastic to hear.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive tackle is a standout at the St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Va. Gray was fabulous in the 2023 season as a sophomore, earning All-America status as well as various honors in Virginia.

2026 ⭐⭐⭐⭐️ offense lineman Darius Gray (@dariusgrayy_) tells us he will visit #Syracuse on April 2.
— The Juice on Rivals (@TheJuiceOnline) March 5, 2024

While it’s encouraging that Syracuse football head coach Fran Brown and his staff will get a visit from Gray, the competition to ultimately win out for him is undeniably steep.

His early offer sheet, which already totals more than two dozen, includes some of the top programs in college football.

Four-star sophomore OT Darius Gray will visit Syracuse football.

Per a recent post on his X page, Gray has numerous other spring visits on the books to schools such as Clemson, Penn State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Michigan and South Carolina.

Syracuse football recruiting: Orange sign 2024 OL Travis Brown-Miller (TNIAAM; Wall)
Fran Brown and the Syracuse Orange football team continued to add to the 2024 recruiting class yesterday.

New Jersey offensive lineman Travis Brown-Miller from Teaneck becomes the fourth offensive lineman in the 2024 class. The 6’3 315-pound Brown-Miller was unranked but receiving interest from Pitt and Rutgers. He’s only been playing football the last three seasons, so the Orange might be making a wise long-term investment here.

✍️ another one from the tri-state!

Welcome to the Orange, @TravisBM05
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) March 7, 2024

Here’s some video of Brown-Miller in action last season. I’ll leave any evaluation to our resident offensive line expert.

By our unofficial count, the Orange are up to 91 scholarships and with spring practice a couple of weeks away, there will be more player movement news upcoming.

Syracuse University wrestler Mike Rotunda is hugged after his win gave Syracuse a victory over rival Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling match in 1981. (Syracuse Post-Standard file photo / Scott Conroe)Syracuse Post-Standard

Former Syracuse football player, wrestler part of WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024 (PS; Owens)
Nearly 40 years after taking part in the very first “WrestleMania,” a Syracuse University alum is going to be part of the Class of 2024 inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Mike Rotunda, a former Syracuse University wrestler and football player who went on to fame as a professional wrestler, will be honored for his time as part of the “U.S. Express” tag team with his partner and real-life brother-in-law, Barry Windham. The U.S. Express, who entered the ring to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” twice held the then-WWF tag team championships and faced the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at the first WrestleMania in 1985.

“Wow, that’s awesome,” Rotunda said when informed of the news by WWE executive Paul Levesque, better known by his “Triple H” wrestling name, in a video shared by WWE.

“It’s a great honor, obviously,” an emotional Rotunda said. “It’s been a great journey, you know, watching WWE grow, so it’s pretty damn cool to be part of it in any aspect.”

“You two were in the ring at the very first WrestleMania. That means a lot,” Levesque said. “That means were wouldn’t be where we are today without you guys. ... You two are absolute legends in this business.”



Former Syracuse football coach Doug Marrone taking job at Boston College (report) (PS; $; Leiker)
Former Syracuse football coach Doug Marrone is reportedly taking a position on the coaching staff at Boston College under first-year head coach Bill O’Brien.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Marrone will be hired as BC’s Senior Analyst for Football Strategy/Research.

Marrone and O’Brien worked together on former Alabama coach Nick Saban’s staff in 2021. O’Brien was the team’s offensive coordinator and Marrone coached the offensive line.

Sources: Boston College is hiring former NFL head coach Doug Marrone as the program’s new Senior Analyst for Football Strategy/Research. He’s the former head coach of the Bills and Jaguars and also at Syracuse. His most recent jobs were at the Saints and Bama as the OL coach.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 9, 2024

Marrone spent the past two years as the offensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints but was fired after the past season. O’Brien took the Boston College job after spending a season as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. The BC job opened after its head coach, Jeff Hafley, took a coordinator position with the Green Bay Packers.

Marrone coached Syracuse from 2009 to 2012, finishing his four-year stint with a record of 25-25. He took over the program after a 3-win season under former coach Greg Robinson and restored credibility by leading the Orange to a pair of bowl appearances. He also was an offensive linemen for Syracuse before being picked in the 1986 NFL Draft.

Syracuse Football: Expert logs Ohio State prediction for 4-star WR who just visited ‘Cuse (itlh; Adler)

Not too long ago, 2025 four-star speedy wide receiver and return man Vernell Brown III from Florida took an unofficial visit to Syracuse football, according to national recruiting analysts.

That trip to Central New York, per at least one media report, went well. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Brown, a consensus top-250 national prospect in the junior cycle, currently has a top 11 that includes the ‘Cuse, along with Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, Ohio State, Stanford, Tennessee and UCF.

The Top-10 performers from Houston Endzone 7v7
— Rivals (@Rivals) March 6, 2024

In the coming weeks, he will take spring visits to several other finalists, along with a trip to Georgia, which is not in his top 11 but is one of the top programs in college football, per On3 director of recruiting Chad Simmons.

Vernell Brown III recently named his Top 11 schools. He’s set to visit 6 of those and Georgia, a school that didn’t make that list, in the coming weeks.

More from Brown: 4-star WR Vernell Brown III locks in seven spring visits and it starts with a trip north
— ChadSimmons (@ChadSimmons_) March 1, 2024

ACC News

With College Football Playoff format and future revenue in flux, here's what's on the table (; Dellenger)

As College Football Playoff leaders continue to examine the future of the enterprise, the industry sits on edge.

The Big Ten and SEC flex their proverbial muscles. The Big 12 and ACC toil over compromise.

Playoff formats and revenue models continue to circulate.

A deadline looms. An agreement is absent.

And for some, a troubling certainty exists: Any deal reached will drive a further financial wedge among the four major conferences.

The CFP is barreling toward a new format and revenue model that skews toward the new Power Two of college athletics, creating a more formal delineation between two groups: the SEC and Big Ten; the ACC and Big 12.

While the Power Two separated themselves long ago through increased revenue streams and recent expansion, a new playoff model is expected to draw a more permanent line. Using an uneven revenue distribution, a tangible separation is forming between college football’s haves and those that were once veritable equals in the space.

Those with knowledge of the proposals spoke to Yahoo Sports under condition of anonymity.

“You have two leagues asserting their power,” described one college athletics administrator.

CFP format and revenue distribution

Any decision on a playoff format is taking a back seat to a more significant piece: the money.

A revenue-distribution model has surfaced that would distribute annually to the SEC and Big Ten multiple millions in additional revenue than their two power league counterparts. While an expected move, the figures shocked those who have seen the proposal.

In the past structure, the five major conferences mostly split evenly 80% of the CFP’s $460 million in revenue.

In a proposal socialized with administrators this week, the Big Ten and SEC would combine to earn about 58% of the CFP’s base distribution — a figure that will certainly grow in participation distribution as their individual schools earn more revenue for qualifying and advancing through the playoffs. The figure would greatly exceed the ACC and Big 12’s combined distribution number, which is expected to be around 31%. The remaining amount (roughly 10%) will be distributed to Notre Dame and the 64 Group of Five teams.
... (SI; Curtis)

Although a 12-team playoff is set for the next two seasons, a 14-team playoff and different monetary distributions are being discussed for 2026 and beyond.

An unofficial deadline to present a proposal to TV networks being sometime this month so this is coming at us fast. It behooves us to see whether the proposals are good or bad for the Atlantic Coast Conference in general and Cal football in particular since the Bears will be a members of the ACC next fall.

In short, would the ACC -- and Cal -- be content with fewer automatic berths than the Big Ten and SEC would get in a 14-team playoff. That seems to be where this is headed.

There are two components to discussions among conferences regarding a playoff proposal:

1. The financial payouts to each conference, which is what conference and school administrators care about most since this is what will fund their football programs and athletic programs over the long haul.

2. The playoff format, which is what players and fans care most about because that determines which teams get a chance to play for a national championship.

Coaches would seem to care about both, because the former affects their long-term success and the latter affects their short-term success.

Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports has been doing the most extensive reporting on the proposals, and the main takeaway is that the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference are dictating the discussions and trying to get the financial and format issues in their favor.

It has become increasingly clear that the Big Ten and SEC have become the dominant football conferences, with the ACC and Big 12 a big step behind. Let’s face it, a Big Ten conference that features Michigan, Ohio State, Washington, USC and Penn State and an SEC that boasts Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and LSU have a clear superiority over an ACC that claims Florida State and Clemson (both of whom would like to leave the ACC) and a Big 12 that has Utah, Oklahoma State and TCU as its football flag bearers.
... (SI; podcast; Callihan)

Between The Eers: Big 12 + ACC Screwed Again?

Illinois Football Making a Big Hire From the ACC (; Chappell)

Illinois Football Making a Big Hire From the ACC
Illinois Football is looking to round out their coaching staff for the 2024 season. Though we have been in the heat of Illini Basketball, it’s Bret Bielema’s team making headlines on March 9th. After the loss of Outside Linebackers coach Charlie Bullen to the New York Giants, it seems that a replacement hire is done. Clint Sintim, a 38-year-old native of Woodbridge Virginia, and former 4-year letterman for the Virginia Cavaliers is the next man up for Bielema.

Why Sintim

Sintim was a team captain, and played an All-American career for the Wahoos from 2005-2008. Finishing with 245 tackles, 29 sacks and 46 tackles for loss. Certainly a stud on the gridiron, who was nothing to play with in his time. A student of the game off the field as well, who quickly transitioned to coaching after playing a short NFL career with the NY Giants. The Virginia legend was the only holdover left from Bronco Mendenhall’s staff, and his loss seems to be a blow to the fanbase. Much like when Illinois Football lost Nathan Scheelhaase to Iowa State, you never want to see your former star go to another team. However, as expected, lots of expressed joy from Virginia fans for the next big step in Clint’s career. Clint spent the previous four seasons at Virginia as a Defensive line transitioned Linebackers coach from 2020-2023. In his first year as LB coach, the Cav’s improved to 3rd in the ACC in pass defense. Not to mention 5th in average sacks per game and 5th in passing efficiency.


Illinois needs to get the best out of Gabe Jacas, Seth Coleman, and the rest of the Illinois Linebackers room in 2024. Sintim is a young and intellectual presence that can help the Illini maximize. Bielema is certainly not afraid to take a chance on young coaches making their way up in the ranks. Antonio Fenelus, Terrance Jamison, Aaron Henry, Ryan Walters, all youngers guys who Bret has at least attempted under his wing at Illinois. The big question will always remain recruiting. There is solid experience on the recruiting trail for Sintim. Clint was able to land a guy like 2023 4-star LB Kam Robinson for the Wahoos. Of course, to a program that has had some problems and transition. If he can bring that experience, and create success in the DC/Baltimore area for Illinois, it another major tool in the belt. Certainly, Ron Zoon had success in the area with players like Arrelious Benn. Now, Clint can get Illinois back in the game on the East Coast.
... (; Golik)

When Paul Simon wrote the lyrics to his opus “The Sound of Silence” off of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” The meaning behind it was the inability for people to communicate with each other. When the folk duo sang, “Hello darkness, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again. Because a vision softly creeping,” the news of a proposed revenue structure for this College Football Playoff version will be vastly different.

Ross Dellenger, of Yahoo Sports, reported the SEC and Big Ten are beginning to flex their influence by seeking a lion’s share of the annual revenue that the two power conferences would split a 58% share of the total revenues. The ACC and Big XII would split a 32% share, leaving the remaining 10% to the Group of 5 schools and Notre Dame.

This is a far cry from what originally was agreed upon when the Power 5 would split evenly 80% of the revenues.

The ‘vision softly creeping in” by the Big Ten and SEC is motivated by more money because now they have more mouths to feed. The Big Ten is on somewhat borrowed time as Oregon and Washington are on partial revenue shares and the SEC is doing its due diligence to make more money for its 16 member schools but may decide to go shopping if the ACC dissolves.

2024 NFL Combine's Fastest by Position (RX; HM)

2024 NFL Combine's Fastest by Position

Back to some football...

How 'bout that ACC SPEED!!!

Fastest 40 Yard Dash Times by Position from the 2024 Scouting Combine
— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 4, 2024
Fastest RB - Louisville's Isaac Guerendo
Fastest DT - FSU's Branden Fiske
Fastest LB - NC State's Payton Wilson
Fastest CB - Clemson's Nate Wiggins
Posted 10 hours ago by
Hokie Mark

Why there WON'T be a mass ACC Exodus (RX; HM)

Why there WON'T be a mass ACC Exodus

Will there be a mass exodus out of the ACC if/when Florida State leaves? That's what a lot of FSU and Big XII fans would have you believe. Especially, they say, if the cost is less than $200M, I've seen fan comments suggesting anywhere from 6 to 9 ACC schools would hit the exit door... but is that reality?

"Big 12 fan too" asked on CSNBBS:

If there is an ESPN option as claimed, FSU would appeal and delay until ESPN is forced to exercise their option on ACC, without knowing the outcome of FSU.

What does ESPN do if there isn’t resolution come February 2025?

Here's my reply:

1. If FSU is the only school trying to exit the ACC, I'm 100% confident that ESPN will exercise their option to extend the contract.
In fact, even if FSU and Clemson both leave, I'm about 80% confident. It would probably take the top 6 schools leaving before ESPN has second thoughts about renewing.

2. The problem with assuming multiple schools leaving, if they at least pay the $130M exit fee, is seen in a simple financial analysis.

If 2 were already gone, that's an extra (2 x $130M)/(15-2) = $260/13 = $20M per remaining school.
Would school #3 pass that up, pay the $130M exit fee themselves, and hope for a better payout?

The more schools leave, the bigger the pot and the fewer schools to divide it...

Is it worthwhile to be the 4th school to leave, rather than keep your share of (3 x $130M)/(15-3) = $390M/12 = $32.5M?

What about the 5th to leave; do they pass on (4 x $130M)/(15-4) = $520M/11 = $47.3M each?

The 6th school to leave is looking at (5 x $130M)/(15-5) = $650M/10 = $65M if they stay, or they can pay $130M and probably get reduced shares for several years if they go.

On 2nd Thought: Deeper ACC vs SEC Analysis (RX; HM)

On 2nd Thought: Deeper ACC vs SEC Analysis

The SEC has a reputation as the best college football conference, top to bottom. However, like all other conferences, it has - you know - a top and a bottom.

The two best teams in the ACC have been Clemson and Florida State. The top 2 SEC teams have been Alabama and Georgia. Florida and Miami have stepped up at times. Overall numbers should be taken with a big grain of salt until you examine them in context of match-ups. So let's do that...

2023 (ACC 7, SEC 5)

WINS (2 by Clemson, 2 by FSU, 3 by the rest)
  1. Florida St 45, LSU 24
  2. N. Carolina 31, S. Carolina 17
  3. Miami (FL) 48, Texas A&M 33
  4. Wake Forest 36, Vanderbilt 20
  5. Clemson 16, S. Carolina 7
  6. Florida St 24, Florida 15
  7. Clemson 38, Kentucky 35
LOSSES (2 by Georgia, 3 by the rest)
  1. Virginia 13, Tennessee 49
  2. Georgia Tech 23, Mississippi 48
  3. Georgia Tech 23, Georgia 31
  4. Louisville 31, Kentucky 38
  5. Florida St 3, Georgia 63
The ACC had a winning record against the SEC in 2023, but if we take out the big dogs on both sides, it's a tie.

2022 (ACC 4, SEC 7)

WINS (2 by FSU, 2 by Wake, no others)
  1. Florida St 24, LSU 23
  2. Wake Forest 45, Vanderbilt 25
  3. Florida St 45, Florida 38
  4. Wake Forest 27, Missouri 17
LOSSES (6 w/o Georgia)
  1. Pittsburgh 27, Tennessee 34
  2. Georgia Tech 0, Mississippi 42
  3. Miami (FL) 9, Texas A&M 17
  4. Clemson 30, S. Carolina 31
  5. Georgia Tech 14, Georgia 37
  6. Louisville 13, Kentucky 26
  7. Clemson 14, Tennessee 31
This was a bad season for Clemson and the ACC in general. Florida State hung tough, but no one else stepped up except Wake Forest.

2021 (ACC 3, SEC 8)

WINS (2 w/o Clemson)
  1. Pittsburgh 41, Tennessee 34
  2. Boston Coll 41, Missouri 34
  3. Clemson 30, S. Carolina 0
LOSSES (5 w/o Alabama & Georgia)
  1. Miami (FL) 13, Alabama 44
  2. Clemson 3, Georgia 10
  3. Louisville 24, Mississippi 43
  4. NC State 10, Mississippi St 24
  5. Florida St 21, Florida 24
  6. Georgia Tech 0, Georgia 45
  7. Louisville 21, Kentucky 52
  8. N. Carolina 21, S. Carolina 38
Perhaps the worst season in this analysis, despite nice wins by Pitt and BC, 2021 saw seven different ACC teams lose to an SEC opponent (Louisville lost to two!)

Why Not Wazzu? Pro/Con (RX; HM)

Why not Wazzu? Pro/Con

When the ACC went shopping for Pac-12 teams to expand the conference, the selection was pretty well picked-over. In fact, there were only four teams left to choose from: Cal, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State. By now you know that the ACC decided - after much debate - to add only Cal and Stanford. What you may not know is what went on behind the scenes during those days leading up to that decision...

From KPIC Sports:

[Washington State President Kirk] Schulz, who acknowledged for the first time that Washington State made a pitch to the ACC and was rebuffed. “The original proposal we made was take all four of us, we could be a West Coast pod and they came back two days later and said we're interested in talking to Cal and Stanford, we have no interest in adding Oregon State and Washington State. I don't say this proudly... the reality is that people weren't lining up to take us... He also admitted WSU pitched the Big 12 conference, and Big Ten. “Not a chance,” he said of the Big Ten. [LINK]

That is some cold, hard reality if you're a fan of one of the teams left behind. But, to be honest, I would have no problem with it if the ACC changed their mind to add Oregon State. The Beavers are a good football team, an excellent baseball team, and are located in a decent population center, Corvalis, OR.


What about Washington State (or "Wazzu" as it is affectionately called)? WSU is located in Pullman, WA. Where's that, you ask? Exactly! Here's a map showing just how isolated Washington State really is:

People don't realize just how isolated Wazzu is.
Here's a map showing the locations of UW (Seattle), OSU (Corvalis), OU (Eugene), Boise St (Boise), and Wazzu (Pullman) - with the entire state of SC (same scale):



Step Out Buffalo

Acclaimed Buffalo brewery to help anchor big Skaneateles hospitality development (PS; Cazentre)
A project that is redeveloping the former Cedar House bowling center and Hilltop restaurant in Skaneateles into a hospitality destination has landed a big anchor tenant.

42 North Brewing Co., a nine-year-old craft brewer based in the Buffalo suburb of East Aurora, plans to open a taproom in the development at 813 W. Genesee St. (Route 20) just west of the village. The project also includes a restaurant, boutique hotel and a family-centered game arcade and recreation area with bowling lanes.

The development is owned by the Syracuse-based Woodbine Hospitality Group, which also owns such properties as the boutique Hotel Skyler and Parkview Hotel in Syracuse and the Tailwater Lodge in Pulaski.

The project on Route 20 is expected to open this fall, said Woodbine president Tom Fernandez.

Woodbine is still working out some details, including the name.

“Right now we’re still calling it ‘the former Hilltop,’ but we should have the branding and other things settled pretty soon,” Fernandez said.

Woodbine officials are meeting next week with 42 North owner John Cimperman to discuss plans for the brewery taproom.

“We always envisioned having a beer or brewery component to this, maybe even doing it ourselves,” Fernandez said. “And then he (Cimperman) reached out, and it was like kismet. What he wanted and what we were hoping for matched up perfectly.”

Cimperman agrees, saying he found the 42 North brand and culture have a lot in common with Woodbine and its project.

“It began with a cold call, then it grew into a really strong relationship,” Cimperman said. Among other things, he said he and the Woodbine team share a love of fishing, the outdoors and similar pursuits.

In new twist, Marcellus opens the door for Nojaim’s sale to Stewarts Shops (PS; Doran)
In a last-minute turn of events, the village of Marcellus is considering an exception that could pave the way for Rich Nojaim to sell his supermarket to Stewart’s Shops after all.

Last month, the three-person village board passed a moratorium on development in the village’s center, a move that essentially blocked the sale of Nojaim Brothers to the well-known chain of convenience stores.

The decision drew heated opposition from some residents and even has prompted three people to run for village office later this month on the promise of overturning the moratorium.

Now, the village is considering granting an exception to the moratorium so Nojaim’s could sell to Stewarts.

“This has been a bad two months for me,” Nojaim said. “But I am cautiously optimistic.”

Nojaim filed an application for the exception stating that the moratorium would result in “extraordinary financial hardship.”

The village said that fits the criteria, and the next step is a public hearing and then a vote.

In a letter posted on the village’s website, the village board said it is reviewing the exception application Nojaims’s submitted. A public hearing is set for for 7 p.m., March 25 in the Marcellus High School auditorium.

The board could then vote that night on the exception.

“We appreciate all input from the community thus far during this transformational change in our Village Center. We are confident that a resolution is close to completion,’' the letter from the village reads.

Syracuse beats out hundreds of cities for $180M grant to help neighborhood rise in place of I-81 (PS; $; Weiner)

A plan to rebuild parts of Syracuse that languished in the shadows of Interstate 81 for more than half a century is about to move a step closer to reality.

The federal government plans to award a $180 million grant to Syracuse and New York state to lay the groundwork for a new neighborhood that would rise along the highway’s old route, according to New York’s two U.S. senators.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation would pay for new streets, parks, bike paths, lighting, pedestrian paths, trees and recreation areas that would be built when the elevated highway is demolished.

Some of the money would pay for infrastructure needed to start a massive, 10-year project and support what would be the biggest transformation of a neighborhood in the city’s modern history.

Under that separate $800 million plan, thousands of new market-rate and affordable housing units, parks, community gardens, stores and schools would be built in a new 27-block neighborhood spanning 118 acres.

Construction of the new neighborhood in the poorest ZIP code in Syracuse would coincide with the $2.25 billion project to tear down the elevated portion of I-81 through Syracuse. The interstate will be rerouted and replaced with a street-level boulevard, part of a community grid.

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