Goodman, McDonogh fail in transfer talks

Inflexible schedule puts off Talmudical star

April 20, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Maryland-bound Tamir Goodman of Talmudical Academy and his coach met with seven officials of McDonogh School last night about the possibility of the guard transferring to the Owings Mills school for his senior season, McDonogh athletic director Jack MacMullan said late last night.

However, McDonogh's unwillingness to adapt its schedule for Goodman, an Orthodox Jew whose faith restricts him from playing from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, means that the standout will look to transfer elsewhere or perhaps stay at Talmudical, a 62-boy rabbinical school that plays in the five-team Maryland Independent Basketball Conference.

Goodman, 6 feet 3 and 165 pounds, earned national attention and became a local household name since accepting a full scholarship from Maryland this past winter.

He earned second-team All-Metro honors this season, averaging 35.4 points, 7.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds, and scored an area-best 53 points in one game as he led the Thunder to its second straight title.

But Goodman is seeking "a more competitive situation," said his coach, Harold Katz, as he tries to improve for the next level.

McDonogh, a two-time defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champion, faces such area powers as Calvert Hall.

"But because we're so multicultural, we can't possibly accommodate all religious holidays throughout a given calendar year," said MacMullan.

By scheduling around Goodman's faith, "you would have such a fragmented schedule that you would find it difficult to accommodate any kind of league schedule," MacMullan said.

"Tamir would be a great fit at McDonogh, but we wanted Tamir to understand who we are. We're a melting pot, but not exclusively a Catholic school, a Jewish school, a Muslim school or a Christian school," MacMullan said. "So, consequently, we wouldn't want to schedule exclusively around one of those religions. It wouldn't be fair to the rest of them."

Maryland coach Gary Williams has said he will attempt to make arrangements with the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA to accommodate Goodman's religious beliefs.

"At Talmudical, we teach character and integrity, and how when your back's against the wall, you have to tell people who you are and what you believe in," said Katz.

"Tamir's a person of integrity, principle, character and commitment, just like the rest of our players.

"McDonogh is a wonderful place, and I do think Tamir would have fit in," Katz said. "But I told the people at McDonogh that, as a Jew, I was never more proud of Tamir than I was tonight. Basketball is basketball, but Tamir planted his feet and stood firm."

Katz said Goodman would continue to look at other schools.

"Talmudical continues to be a wonderful and supportive place for Tamir, and academics always have been of the highest priority, so this is not just about basketball and Tamir might just end up staying at T.A.," Katz said. "Tamir is just looking for the best combination of basketball and academics, but he's not willing to compromise what he believes in."

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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