Posted: 6:08 pm Friday, March 27th, 2009

An appeals committee member on the case of Forest Hill’s Matteo Rossi 

By Jason Lieser

I wrote a column this week about Matteo Rossi, a foreign exchange student from Italy at Forest Hill.


Basically he’s not allowed to play any sports at Forest Hill while he’s here for the semester because there’s a rule in the FHSAA books that prohibits it. If he was here for the whole school year he would have been able to play any sport he wanted.

I had some trouble getting a hold of the appeals committee members before the story ran, but one got in touch with me afterward. Jim Harwood, Lake Worth Christian’s athletic director, sent me an e-mail saying the reasoning behind the decision to deny the appeal was because Rossi would be taking someone else’s spot on the volleyball team or taking playing time from someone else.

I didn’t necessarily have a problem with the committee members upholding the bylaw, that’s what they are there to do. I think the rule itself makes no sense. Whether a foreign exchange student is here for a semester or a year, they would still take playing time or a roster spot from a Florida kid. Harwood added that he wouldn’t have a problem if the rule was changed.