Sunday, August 11, 2013

Transfers

Any school coach in Ohio has to pass a test from OHSAA.  While studying for this, I was amazed at the volume of the rule book that dealt with eligibility and transfers.  I would guess that about half of the rules dealt with just these two topics. And you have to put on your amateur lawyer hat to understand parts of it. And the rules have evolved over the years. People keep finding loopholes and work arounds.  It is hard to distinguish between a family that legitimately moves from one district to another or a family that moves an athlete into a district for sports.

But why do athletes transfer?  One of the biggest reasons is to get your kid on a competitive team and try to get recognition for a college scholarship. Sometimes there are conflicts or problems with a coach, but those cases are a lot fewer. With the cost of college skyrocketing, I can see where parents would want to give their kids a chance (however slim) to improve their chances.  I still maintain that if Penn State could find Curtis Enis in Mississinewa Valley then it proves that if you are good, scouts are going to find you. So if your kid is a blue chip athlete then I don't know if it is worth the effort to try to move them around. And if your kid can't carry a team on their back at the high school level, then they probably won't be getting a free ride. But I can see where parents want to try and take that chance at getting a free ride for their athlete. Free vs $40,000+ for tuition is a big incentive.

So instead of fighting it why not have OHSAA make a workable plan where students can transfer and streamline the rules.  So maybe some districts can become 'sports magnet districts' where students can openly transfer in and play - maybe for a fee.  These schools can become part of a different class of schools that have their own leagues and play off systems. So they do not compete against schools that keep their district closed to sports transfers and have an unfair advantage. And this could go towards ending the private vs public debate.  I can see a lot of the private schools opting into a system like this.  Its the rough frame work of an idea, but it is a different way of addressing the problem. Don't fight it - find a way to make it workable.

Of course the one danger is that with open transfers, will schools openly recruit junior high and freshman athletes to their schools?  Right now that is against the rules. Is this going to change the landscape of high school sports?   And there is the danger that we are putting too much emphasis on the athlete and forgetting about the student part of going to school.  You go to any high school graduation and the number of academic scholarships dwarfs the athletic scholarships. But parents are still going to chase that dream, this is the way to satisfy their desires and let the rest of the students focus on academics.  And who knows - opening this door for athletics could open the door for robotics magnet school districts, or college prep school districts, healthcare, etc.  Transferring for the right reasons can be a good thing.


weekend sports wrapup:

Troy Football 2013

Ansonia Loses (golf)

Green Wave 12th (golf)

Edgewood relying on Tradition (football)

Richmond Red Devils new turf

Improvement in Springfield(football)

Urbana Hungry to Exceed