There’s a lovely, heart-warming story in todayâ€™s Inquirer about Tao Xu, a new junior at the Main Lineâ€™s upper-crusty Haverford School. Xu, who’s 18, was brought to America as part of Haverfordâ€™s efforts to increase its â€śglobal programming,â€ť according to the head of the upper school, Matthew Green: â€śItâ€™s really about making a really flavorful soup so we have a wide range of students.â€ť Makes you feel all nice and toasty inside, that soup doesâ€”except it turns out to be nearly as hard to swallow as Greenâ€™s â€śglobal programmingâ€ť bull.
Xu, who for all I know is a prince among young men, stands six-foot-11 inches tall and weighs 253 pounds. Heâ€™s still growing. And he wound up at Haverford after its basketball coach, Henry Fairfaxâ€”also the upper schoolâ€™s admissions directorâ€”heard about the young member of the Chinese junior national team from a Haverford assistant coach whoâ€™d heard about him from a Philadelphian who runs a sports management firm and â€śdevelops and recruits players internationally.â€ť So, letâ€™s get this straight. Haverford School, whose hoops program has been in the toilet for the past decade, brings in a six-foot-11 ringer from overseas and actually dares to tell the Inquirer the move is part of a program to diversify its student body?
Come on, Mr. Green. Have the decency to set a better example for your students and call this what it is: a blatant grab for glory on the court. You couldnâ€™t bring in, say, a four-foot-eight Chinese physics prodigy? A five-foot-nine singer? A chess player? Anything at all but an athlete whoâ€™s already been contacted by UConnâ€”the team that won last yearâ€™s NCAA menâ€™s hoops title? Whatâ€™s the Haverford Schoolâ€™s honor code say? Oh yeahâ€”â€śRespect, Honesty, and Courage.â€ť I sure hope you teach better than you do.