Player punished for U.S. duty

[HIGH SCHOOL] Tegan McGrady, a sophomore at Santa Teresa in San Jose, Calif., has been suspended by the Central Coast Section for playing two games at a U-17 U.S. national team camp.

Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the sanction stemmed from the games not having been approved by the California Interscholastic Federation. The camp games were not approved because U.S. Soccer submitted its paperwork just a couple of days before the event -- short of the 30-day notice that the CIF requires.

Santa Teresa has to forfeit four games that McGrady played in and McGrady, who has already committed to Stanford, must serve a four-game suspension. Had she been informed earlier, McGrady could have sat out the final four games of the season and been eligible for the playoffs. But she had not known about "violation" until her coach was told of it by an opposing coach at a playoff seeding meeting.

"I'll be honest with you, California and Michigan are the only states that have a concern with players playing for their national team," Jill Ellis, development director for the U.S. women's youth soccer, told the Mercury.

"CIF has a lot of rules, a lot of technicalities. It's unrealistic for us to give a 30-day notice when sometimes with players we have injuries, last-minute replacements, we have rosters that haven't been selected. At the end of the day, Tegan McGrady plays two international games against Germany and now she's being suspended from her high school."

14 comments about "Player punished for U.S. duty".
  1. Marc Silverstein, February 22, 2013 at 8:34 a.m.

    They are penalizing a player for doing well, they are penalizing the team for losing a player and they are also further benefiting other teams for not having to face what may be a team's best player. Is 30 days advance notice really necessary?

  2. DonJuego Lee, February 22, 2013 at 9:39 a.m.

    Is any notice necessary? Why should it ever be an issue for a kid to play the game?

  3. Matt Moran, February 22, 2013 at 9:53 a.m.

    Although SA puts out many great stories (keep them coming), I rarely comment on them. However, I had to on this one. I worked with the CIF and many other high school asociations when I managed some the ODP interegionals or foreign trips while at US Youth Soccer...and Jill is absolutely right. This story needs to highlight the absurdity of the CIF rules. They are an arrogant body who often put the children second and rules first...with little to no thought about why such rules exist in the first place. If a kid gets called to a national or even a regional team event, they shouldnot be punished. Nor should his/her teammates! Sad

  4. Kraig Richard, February 22, 2013 at 10 a.m.

    Central Coast has six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship. This young woman deserves a campaign or something to get her reinstated. Is there no Pillar of Honor? If you'd like to ask their board of directors, their emails are on,%20Board%20of%20Directors.html

  5. Joe Kee, February 22, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.

    Ridiculous. Maybe US Soccer should just compile a list of all possible players, however remote the liklihood of their selection, and submit that list to CIF prior to every match. Even if it's 100 pages, who cares? And worse still? Punishing not just the player, but her entire high school team because the CIF feels high and mighty.... truly absurd. Hey CIF - way to encourage and reward your student athletes for excellence and the true honor of representing your country. Boneheads.

  6. Zachary Antisdel, February 22, 2013 at 11:21 a.m.

    After looking at the CIF website, it would appear that the CIF is a bit hypocritical...take a look at their own Vision & Mission statements!
    Come on CIF your mission is to promote EUITY, QUALITY, CHARACTER and academic development. It seems your missing 3 of the 4 in your own words!

  7. Ronnie j Salvador, February 22, 2013 at 12:33 p.m.

    I happen to recently view the rules in scholastic leagues for out~of~league competition in several states. The rules for scholastic ball are there for good reasons, even if it may run counter to the rare outlier, which is the situation here. Most of the rules on out~of~state or out~of~league competition seem to be towards limits on postseason play. Think about a high school teams that gets requested to play additional showcase postseason events for ESPN or other organizations. Scholastic leagues might have good reason to place reasonable limits, to protect against athlete overuse. It can’t be a free for all.
    It’s easy to pick on the league, but, it’s primarily up to the scholastic coach to know the rules of their league. If this was a boys national team player, it would likely be moot, since he’d [most likely] be from a PDA team and not allowed to play scholastic soccer.

  8. John Soares, February 22, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.

    Ronnie, While I certainly agree that rules and guidelines are necessary, mostly to protect young athletes. This "zero tolerance" is ridiculous and punishes the wrong individual. If in fact anyone deserves punishment.

  9. Chris Sapien , February 22, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.

    So, Ms. Ellis claims it is "unrealistic" to provide the required 30 day notice as required?? One has to wonder, when are adults who should be responsible for knowing what rules they will encounter, going to step-up and be accountable. The CIF isn't doing anything new here, and the majority of their restrictions are the result of claims by other member schools against a perceived competition unfairness. (ie-ineligibility, additional practice/game time etc. etc.) I agree with Ronnie's one point, the adults including the Coach (Don't excuse the parents either yet), should be on top of these things and stop acting like deer in the headlights. Ignorance is not a defense. And lastly, I find it almost comedic, that another schools coach was the one to inform her high school coach that she was in "violation". Wow......I hope it can all work out in the end.

  10. Rob Scheerer, February 22, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.

    As a father of a 14 y/o player who's school just missed the next round of the CCS, I'm deeply disappointed.
    And you wonder why soccer is a slow developmental process here in the USA.
    Good God, let the kid play both in the CCS and US Soccer!!!

  11. Kevin Sims, February 22, 2013 at 8:31 p.m.

    As a lifetime educator, coach, administrator, perhaps I am most upset when adults get it all wrong by pulling young people in opposite directions ... thus hurting the child ... or when adults fail to comply with their adult-made policies, resulting in harm to the child. This is just such a dadgum incident. US Soccer is at fault for doing their due diligence procedurally or at least failing to look out for such matters ... and the high school is at fault for failure to educate coaches and families on such eligibility matters.

  12. Kevin Sims, February 22, 2013 at 8:32 p.m.

    OOPS! faulting US Soccer for failure to do their due diligence ... just as I did not proofread.

  13. Robert Kiernan, February 23, 2013 at 4:32 a.m.

    Hey it's why Club Soccer and High School Soccer are clearly going to continue to battle for complete control of a young athlete with little or no thought going towards what is truly "Best" for that athlete... this is also why I firmly believe that along with the NCAA's rules about "Out of Season" play... any serious potential Professional athlete is going to see his (and I do mean his) road to becoming a professional hindered by playing ANY Scholastic or Collegiate ball... but until MLS actually get's it's act together and is DIRECTLY INVOLVED in the development of Professional Players, those few truly talented enough to make it at that level will be, like it or not, left with nowhere to go but to play for these petty bureaucrats. In this case clearly by not just punishing the player, but also the whole team, they are showing how little they "Care" about any of these young Women... but that really should surprise few who have watched how bureaucrats deal with anyone who is not dancing to their tune, in lock step... this is why some of us find those in charge often seem to have no real concept of how an Elite Athlete needs to be handled... and why in the end those who are NOT of that level will be deprived of their company when they are forced to chose between Scholastic play and club play... in the end it hurts all involved. ... (ICE)

  14. Kevin Johnson, October 31, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

    My daughter knows Tegan from ODP over the years, and praises her highly. Anyone with decency and a brain will see that the CIF and the CCS are bureaucratic drone bodies that exist simply to mandate self-fulfilling and ever-expanding policies to justify their own importance. Sadly, this distortion of justifiable intentions is more and more prevalent in our society, with automatons filling executive and administrative duties and victimizing the people they are there to protect. Claiming that the rule is there to protect the kids is a mindless cop-out and demonstrates zero ability of CIS and CCS minions to think for themselves.

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