Tamir Goodman, the Orthodox Jewish high school basketball player from Baltimore who last month rescinded an oral commitment to attend the University of Maryland, yesterday gave such a commitment to Towson University, according to Goodman's adviser, Harold Katz.
According to Katz, Goodman declined to comment yesterday.
Katz said the commitment is contingent on Towson being able to arrange its schedule around the Jewish Sabbath. Because of his religion, the 6-foot-3 guard has said he will not play on the Sabbath, from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. Katz said Goodman wanted to make an early commitment to give Towson officials time to schedule around the Sabbath.
Towson officials could not comment because NCAA rules prohibit college officials from talking about prospective student-athletes until they sign a national letter-of-intent. Katz said Goodman will formally accept a scholarship Nov. 10, when the early signing period begins.
As for Towson's conference schedule, that matter could be taken care of soon. Athletic directors of schools in the America East Conference, of which Towson is a member, are meeting in Boston today and Thursday. Although the subject of altering Towson's schedule is not on the agenda, America East Commissioner Chris Monasch said it will be addressed.
A source familiar with the situation said Towson will alter its non-conference schedule around Goodman's needs.
"I think we can get to a point that it is acceptable to everyone," said Monasch, adding that he has spoken with Towson Athletic Director Wayne Edwards about the situation. "Knowing the tenor and mind-set of people in our league, I think they'll respect this. . . . I think everyone is going to make a good-faith effort to help him out."
The America East usually schedules two conference games per team each week, either on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon or Friday night and Sunday afternoon, and teams are able to set the starting times for their home games. Monasch said Towson plays its home games on Thursdays and Saturdays, and could eliminate conflicts for Goodman by moving home games to Saturday night.
However, altering the times of Towson's away games would be more difficult because five conference members--Boston University, Northeastern, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine--have hockey teams that draw large crowds to their home games, usually on Friday and Saturday nights.
According to Matt Bourque, America East's assistant commissioner for communications, Maine and New Hampshire play hockey and basketball in the same arena and Boston University has its ice rink and basketball court in the same building. Bourque said it is unlikely those schools would want to move lucrative home hockey games so that their home basketball games against Towson could be played on Saturday night instead of Saturday afternoon, if the schedule worked out that way.
Still, Bourque said he believes the conference will work to make its schedule amenable to Goodman, who transferred from Baltimore's Talmudical Academy to Takoma Academy in Takoma Park for his senior year of high school.
"There's give and take throughout the year on so many individual cases anyway. Something like this might seem natural with the athletic directors," said Bourque, adding that he believed that Towson played only four games this past season that Goodman would have missed. "We're always trying to accommodate other issues anyway. It won't be that big a deal, I don't think."
Katz said Towson's effort to adjust its schedule was the key to its recruitment of Goodman.
"Where he plays is not that big a deal to him," Katz said. "He just wants to play and have a chance to get better and not give up what he believes in."