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1919

Elmira Morning Telegram- Basketball Notes

The Elmira Athletic club will play its most all important out of town engagement so far this season, when it clashes with the All-Syracuse quintet at Syracuse, New Year’s night. The locals will be in good condition for the game and expect to give the Saline City outfit a stiff run for honors.

Syracuse Herald- Elmira Tossers To Clash With All-Syracuse

Visitors Have Won Six Games- Teams Play Here New Year’s Night

With neither team having been beaten, basketball fans will have an opportunity to see one of the best court contests of the season when the Elmira A.C. court tossers clash with the All-Syracuse court tossers New Year’s night at the State Armory. Elmira has played six games with some of the best court teams in the southern part of New York State and claim the championship by virtue of their victory over the Shepard Electric quintet recently. They will come here with their regular lineup for the game, which is practically the hardest on the schedule. Lester Brown, who is a member of the quintet, formerly played at Cornell University and is regarded as an exceptionally good basketball player. He plays left forward and his all-around work has been one of the important factors in the success of the team. Syracuse will have its regular team for this contest. Wilbur Crisp returned to the lineup last week after an absence of several weeks because of a sprained ankle. Several practices will be held during the week by the local court athletes. The lineup:

ALL-SYRACUSE: Tormey, lf, Rafter, rf, Schwarzer, c, Casey, lg, Crisp, rg. ELMIRA: Brown, lf, Williams, rf, Cuddeback, c, Shepard, lg, Pierce, rg.

1948

Syracuse Post Standard- Nats To Appeal Rizzo's Suspension For Season

Player, Biasone To Confer With League Prexy; Clubs To Oppose Tri-Cities Tonight In Rochester Tilt

An appeal to the National Basketball League president on the season's suspension of Jerry Rizzo is being planned by the Syracuse Nationals, it was learned last night as the Nats prepared to meet the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in a league game at Edgerton Park Arena in Rochester tonight. Rizzo was set down for the season by Commissioner Doxie Moore as the result of hitting a referee in a game in Denver last week. At a meeting of the Nats' stockholders yesterday it was decided to make an appeal in the hopes of lightening the punishment. Danny Biasone, principal stockholder of the club, will attend tonight's game in Rochester and will leave after the game with Rizzo for a conference in Anderson, Ind., with President Ike Duffey. There seems to be some hope that a shorter suspension, plus a rather stiff fine and the posting of a bond to guarantee no recurrence of the fisticuffs, may be levied in place of the season-long suspension. Rizzo, who attended Sunday's game here in which the Nats suffered their first home defeat, a 73 to 57 setback by Anderson, is understood to have had several offers to play professional basketball outside the National League, but if it's all possible he'd prefer to stick with the Nats, with whom he has performed for two full seasons. Coach Al Cervi, deeply disappointed over his team's poor showing before 5,111 fans Sunday, inspected a new candidate for the team at yesterday's workout, but wasn't impressed by the showing of Dick (Tex) Wehr, former Rice Institute star. It was felt that Wehr might possibly be a ninth or 10th man on the squad, but a more experienced and capavble player is sought. As a result, Wehr left town last night, unsigned. Paul Yesawich, former Niagara University player who made his debut with the Nats Sunday, and is slated to perform in home games. Yesawich, who will play in the game in Rochester tonight, is a student at Cornell University law school, and he plans to continue his studies there. As a result, he won't be available for most road games of the season. Biasone emphasized that the signing of Yesawich doesn't end the Nats' quest for players. They're still hopeful of adding a tall player who has had enough experience to make him a possible starter. Cervi, who sent the Nats thru a brisk drill at the Coliseum yesterday, is hopeful that his charges will regain winning form against the Blackhawks tonight. "I'm sorry that we disappointed the fans against Anderson," said Al, "but I hope they won't lose faith in us--we just had an off night." The Nats' Booster club is sponsoring an excursion to the game in Rochester tonight. The special train will leave Syracuse at 5 p.m., and will leave Rochester on the return trip at 11:30 p.m.

1954

Syracuse Herald Journal- Nats Need New Leader

Leo Ferris Quits

Directors of the Syracuse Nationals basketball team will meet Thursday or early next week to act upon the resignation of General Manager Leo Ferris which has been presented to club president Dan Biasone. In resigning his post Ferris said in his letter to Biasone: “Please be advised, I am desirous of resigning the position of general manager of the Central New York Basketball Club, Inc. effective Jan. 10 or thereabouts. My reasons for the action are many.” Speculation today is that Biasone will be appointed to serve as general manager and will represent the club at all National Basketball Association meetings. Bob Sexton, publicity director, may be named supervisor of office personnel. Biasone met with Ferris yesterday and discussed a recent directors gathering in which Ferris activities were ordered curtailed. Biasone is said to have told his associate it would be difficult to hold harmony among stockholders under present conditions since several wanted Ferris out of the club. Today Biasone emphatically asserted: “My only desire is to see that the Nats remain in Syracuse. I’m not interested in moving the club to any other city.” Last week Ferris signed a contract proffered to him by the club, after group of directors demanded his signature. It was believed to call for a $15,000 annual salary plus $3,000 for personal expenses. It was said that Ferris had deferred signing the pact since it placed a restriction upon his business activities outside the club affairs such as promotion of shows and program advertising. At the meeting nine of the 15-member board voted, it is said, and decided to keep the restrictions by the narrow margin of one vote. A later vote reportedly eased the pact to permit Ferris to carry on an advertising promotion of his own, but stipulated other promotions might be allowed only with the board’s permission. He signed the new pact. Ferris organized a National Basketball League team at Buffalo and later transferred it to the Tri-Cities franchise. When Syracuse was in danger of losing pro ball in 1948 he entered the picture and reorganized the club selling 25 shares of stocks to Syracusans at $1,000 each. He took over as vice president in 1949 when the Nats became a member of the National Basketball Association, and became a partner of Biasone. Last season he directed a refinancing drive which produced 148 stockholders. He and Biasone sold their interests but reinvested in the present club. Ferris still retains 10 shares of stock. Today Ferris stipulated it is his intention to retain his stock in the club and continue to fill out his term as a member of the board of directors, even if his resignation as general manager is accepted. He intends to remain in Syracuse and continue promotional activity. Two other clubs within the NBA have contacted the Nats general manager to inquire if he would be interested in directing their operations. The board of directors to be asked to attend a special meeting to act upon Ferris' resignation consists of Biasone, Ferris, Berard Sarno, John Pirro, Al Dieseroth, Anthony Mollica, Jack Egan, Dr. M.E. Rifken, Charles Schoeneck, Jr., Pete Ranieri, Emil Colozzi, Carl Batcharie, T.W. Smith and Leonard Bobbett.


Leo Ferris Explains Resigning Nats’ Job

All Not Serene

Leo F. Ferris, retiring general manager of the Syracuse basketball Nationals, today issued the following statement explaining his resignation: “Please be advised that I am desirous of resigning the position of general manager of Central New York Basketball, Inc., effective January 10, or thereabouts. My reasons for this action are many but consist in the main of those listed below: recent meetings of the board of directors have failed to fulfill the proper purposes of such meetings and have not served the best interests of the stockholders. Matters of vital interest to the corporation are sidetracked for petty issues that a minority group of men have exaggerated out of all proportion to good management. A small number of individuals, who have little knowledge in the field of sports management, have continued to hold untenable positions on questions, wherein they have been proved wrong, and have continued a calculated policy of fomenting dissension which is detrimental to the stockholders’ interests. Meanwhile, positive accomplishment on significant matters are ignored. For instance: (a) the fact that we have the best club we ever had and are now in first place (largely through my efforts in securing talents such as Rocha, Kerr and Farley, etc.;) (b) we grossed about $145,000 on the last Ice Capades, with the largest profit, $12,500, that we ever had. A verbal contract was arrived at a board of directors meeting last June. Later, when the contract was put in writing, various clauses were added, clauses which were never discussed with me. One particular clause was completely unfair and I refused to sign it. Club attorney John Pirro advised you of this and advised that the clause was not right. Then in your last meeting when I refused to sign that contract, you agreed to amend the clause. At no time did I agree to give you 100% of my time. I have worked 60 to 70 hours, sometimes 80, per week as general manager. Finally, at the last meeting we agreed on a compromise contract, which I recently signed. Yet the same issues that were supposedly settled in the last meeting continue to be aired by minority members of the board of directors who are strangely silent and lack the courage to speak up in directors’ meetings but are exceedingly vocal at other times. The general welfare of this corporation cannot be best served in this manner. Results cannot be accomplished unless everyone pulls together. This is a tough, competitive business at best. The club took in about $6,600 at Sunday night’s game, so perhaps basketball will draw better gates now that football and Christmas have gone by. Sincerely, Leo F. Ferris.”


Nats Face Rochester In Garden Twin Bill

The Syracuse Nationals face the Rochester Royals and the New York Knicks play the Philadelphia Warriors tonight in a Madison Square Garden doubleheader that could put the Knicks back on top of the Eastern Division of the National Basketball Association. A Syracuse loss coupled with a Knick victory would put the New Yorkers in first place by half a game. Syracuse has won two of three from Rochester, while the Knicks have beaten the Warriors three times in five meetings.


From Highlighting Sports By Jack Slattery

The Nats’ dressing room was a spirited one after their close win over the Knicks. I needled rookie Dick Farley about the fantastic shot he flipped through the hoop that just about sewed up the game for the Nats. Dick wouldn’t give ground, though, and he said, “Knew it was good all the way.” Koppet asked Cervi what he would have done had Carl Braun’s court-length baseball-type throw at the hoop had gone in. Cervi closed his eyes and shuddered. The Nats tied the score with three seconds to go on a wonderful tap-in play by Earl Lloyd. Braun took a pass from under the hoop and threw the ball all the way down the court. It hit the backboard squarely over the hoop and missed going into the basket by the narrowest of margins. The game-ending horn sounded as the ball was in flight. Cervi couldn’t have helped having a heart attack if that one dropped in.

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