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Cathedral Catholic administrators deliver necessary punishment

04/21/2013, 6:18am PDT
By Craig Malveaux

Cathedral Catholic chooses what is right instead of what is best for baseball.

Cathedral Catholic celebrated a San Diego Section title last season and hopes to do the same this year despite suspensions issued to multiple players.

Commend Cathedral Catholic high school.

Last week, administrators suspended several members of the varsity baseball team who violated school rules — knowingly — last month.

The Dons, who were the preseason No. 1 nationally ranked baseball team, declined an invitation to participate in the 63rd annual Lions tournament in San Diego to travel to Cary, N.C. to battle against seven of Baseball America’s Top 25 nationally ranked teams in late March.

While there, several players broke school rules, which haven’t been disclosed.

It remains unclear how many players were disciplined or the length of their punishments, but a number of Dons — including star players — have been scratched from at least five games since returning from the tournament.

An undisclosed source — who was not authorized to speak on the record — told the U-T that players who committed similar violations at most schools around the section would have been suspended for one game and continued playing.

School administrators could have easily followed suit. Without question, it would have been a mistake and perhaps a more egregious offense, but the option was there.

They could have simply tapped those players delicately on the wrists, allowing them to return to the field after a game or two with minimum consequences for their poor decisions and actions.

After all, top-ranked Cathedral Catholic (14-5) is pursuing its fifth consecutive Western League title and third consecutive CIF Section championship. Surely, trimming the roster mid season could potentially be detrimental to both their league and championship aspirations, should the suspensions last the remainder of the season.

But they didn’t.

Instead, administrators upheld the school’s zero-tolerance policy, issuing appropriate, lengthy punishments for off-campus violations. Instead, they delivered a message to its community and the rest of the San Diego county. The message: Cathedral Catholic has a certain standard of conduct that must be met by each and every student regardless of their role. Regardless of their extracurricular activities.

“The bottom line is that no one was expelled from school,” Dons coach Gary Remiker told the U-T prior to Thursday’s match against rival St. Augustine at Petco Park. “There was, however, varying degrees of punishment. Some of the kids who aren’t with us today will be back. Some will not.”

Unfortunate — given some students will miss a chunk of baseball games while others will be prohibited from steeping foot on a diamond again this season — but totally necessary. Violations are violations. It was the appropriate course of action.

In a statement, Remiker said: “The coaching staff, the school, and the team are prepared to move forward and represent Cathedral Catholic baseball as best we can.”

In my eyes, they already have, which is why they deserve to be commended.

By suspending players, Cathedral Catholic has placed a premium on rules and regulations, not wins or losses. Most importantly, the school has chosen to do the right thing instead of doing what is best for the baseball team moving forward.

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