Tara Schwitter is, by all accounts, a terrific HS athlete at Immaculate Heart Academy in NJ. So good that she’s being recruited by a number of D-I colleges for soccer. But when the Univ of Miami soccer coach invited Tara to participate in a 3-day soccer showcase during the Christmas break to show her stuff, Tara went to her basketball coach to ask permission.
By the way, Art Stapleton of The Record did a great job in covering this story, and also did a great job on my show.
Bear in mind that Tara is a captain of the basketball team. She also knew that the school has a strict policy: you miss a HS game or practice for a club team activity, you’re off the team. Tara knew all this, took a chance on furthering his college education, and when she returned from Florida, she was told nicely that she had played in her last HS basketball game.
To me, this is a lose-lose situation. Look, I fully appreciate the school’s hard-line policy here, but at the same time, shouldn’t they consider all the facts in this case? The problem with tough, blanket rules like this is that, invariably, a situation like this comes along and nobody wins. Tara could have simply lied to her hoops coach and told her that she was sick for those three days…or that her family had to go visit their ailing grandparents..or whatever.
Instead, she told the truth, and paid a steep price. The way I see it, the rule was put into place to prevent kids from playing on a club team and the HS varsity team at the same time during the season. But in this case, this was a once-in-a-lifetime showcase that just happened to get in the way of her basketball schedule.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply “punish” Tara in a different way? Maybe have her sit out a few games and then re-instate her. But to lose the rest of the season? That doesn’t sound right or fair to me.