Ryan Sloan, a former star defensive tackle who was the subject of a grade-fixing scandal at Bellport High School before attending Syracuse, will play his final season of eligibility at Stony Brook next season.
Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore said Sloan has graduated from Syracuse with a 2.82 grade-point average and will attend Stony Brook to pursue an unspecified master's degree. The 6-2, 326-pound Sloan, who redshirted as a freshman and missed his sophomore year because of an injury, played 15 games in two years at Syracuse and had 18 total tackles.
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A spokesman at Syracuse said, "Ryan Sloan elected to leave the Syracuse football program."
Sloan said, "I would rather wait until I walk in the doors [at Stony Brook]" before discussing his reasons for transferring.
Said Priore, "He'll certainly compete for playing time and have an opportunity to help us be a very good defensive team. He's an inside big kid, should be a good run-stopper. Hopefully he can help us just continue to get better in the CAA. I think he'll fit into what we do and he should definitely add to us being better."
Priore said Joe Cipp Jr., Sloan's high school coach, "definitely reached out and said Ryan was interested in Stony Brook to finish his football career."
In 2012, the South Country School District hired Melville attorney Bronwyn Black to investigate allegations that Sloan's grades were changed so he could earn a scholarship to play at Syracuse. Cipp, who coached Bellport for three decades and has the most victories of any Suffolk County public school football coach, became the district's superintendent in 2010. Cipp resigned amid the investigation, although he denied any wrongdoing. Black's 44-page report, which was obtained by Newsday, determined that the grade-fixing allegations were valid.
Cipp, reached Thursday, said, "I don't think I did anything wrong. I didn't change grades. I wouldn't even know how to go into a computer to change grades . . . I was never found guilty of anything and they decided to buy me out, which happens all the time with superintendents."
Victor Correa, the then-Board of Education president at Bellport who presided over the matter, said Thursday night that the board did not find any specific "wrongdoing'' by Cipp.
Priore is not concerned about the controversy involving Sloan's grades, pointing to his GPA and saying, "He graduated in four years. I think that's pretty good."