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Master's Forces Athlete to Leave Because of Conduct

October 22, 1987|GORDON MONSON | Times Staff Writer

Michelle Carter, a two-time female athlete of the year at The Master's College, has withdrawn from the school under pressure from administrators after she admitted breaking a school rule forbidding dancing.

Carter, 22, a senior who was captain of the women's basketball and volleyball teams, said Wednesday night that she was urged to withdraw Oct. 15 for violating the Christian school's code of rules. The code forbids, among other things, dancing and requires that students stay at their residence after 1 a.m. on weekends.

In the first of three meetings last week with Russell Moir, the school's vice president of student affairs, Carter said she admitted to dancing on Sept. 25. She said Moir questioned her about breaking the curfew on a separate occasion in a meeting last Wednesday. When Carter initially denied breaking the rule, she said Moir accused her of lying, an offense for which she could be expelled.

"I met with him three times," Carter said. "He told me he had heard rumors about me breaking rules. He went down a list and asked if I'd broken this rule or that rule. He told me in the meeting that I had deceived him. That if I wasn't honest about breaking a curfew, I wasn't an honest person."

Carter said that she in fact did break the 1 a.m. curfew three weeks ago while visiting a friend who lived in Canoga Park. But she added that she "signed out" when she left the college and was unaware that the rule applied away from the school.

"I knew I broke the dancing rule," Carter said. "But the incident regarding the curfew, when Russ Moir called me a liar, that was unfair."

The school administration issued a statement through the athletics office that read: "Michelle Carter chose to withdraw from school."

John Zeller, Master's sports information director, said he had been instructed by Athletic Director Geoff Zahn to give no further comment. Moir could not be reached for comment.

George Carter, Michelle's father, said his daughter was forced to withdraw from school.

"Their decision was for her to withdraw," he said. "She could have said no, but then they would have kicked her out."

Carter said Moir treated her "unfairly," and that he was using her situation to send a message to other students at Master's to follow rules. "He used me as an example to shake people up at the school," she said. "He even told me that.

"It's been disappointing, though. I thought they'd believe me. I'd been here for four years so I didn't think they'd question whether I was telling the truth."

Carter, who expected to graduate in June, said she will enroll at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo or Cal State San Bernardino. She is living with her family in Highland, near San Bernardino.

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