FHSAA revises transfer rule


Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
High school student-athletes looking to transfer schools will come under more scrutiny starting this fall due to a comprehensive revision to Florida High School Athletic Association residence and transfer rules that was adopted Tuesday by the FHSAA's representative assembly.
The residence and transfer proposal, which was sponsored by Commissioner John A. Stewart, would tie students' athletic eligibility to the school they initially enter as ninth-graders. Those who transfer without a parental change of address that requires a school change would be limited to sub-varsity competition (JV or ninth-grade teams) for one calendar year unless granted varsity eligibility upon appeal.
"The membership voiced its concerns about our current residence and transfer rules, and we developed this proposal in response to those concerns," Stewart said. "We have spent the better part of the last year drafting and redrafting the proposal based on feedback we received from our Board of Directors, the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and individual member schools who took the time to attend one of the many area meetings that our staff has conducted around the state.
"Today, the membership, through its delegates to the assembly, said that not only is this something that they want, but something that they need. It will go a long way toward cleaning up the growing problem of students transferring for athletic reasons and those schools who market themselves to students who make themselves free agents. Hopefully, once again we will be able to level the playing field in our association."
The proposal passed by a vote of 44-8. Thirty-one of the 34 delegates representing public member schools, district superintendents and district school boards voted in favor of the proposal. Ten of the 15 delegates representing private schools also voted in support.
"It is important to note that not only did the proposal win the support of two-thirds of the delegates representing the public education sector, but also two-thirds of the delegates representing private education as well," Stewart said. "That is significant because so much of the concerns raised about the proposal was that it would hurt private schools."
The rule takes effect July 1.

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