Friday, March 08, 2013

Transfers, Transfers Everywhere!

Student/Athletes - or more correctly written, their parents - have made certain that their sons/daughters are playing their sport at a school where they perceive their child will have the best opportunity for:
1. Quality coaching
2. Win a Championship
3. Be seen by a college scout (not necessarily in this order)

With open enrollments now at most area schools, it is very common to find student/athletes who reside on one side of Elk Grove going to school and playing a sport on the other side. We even have several Sacramento residents playing sports at a school in Elk Grove.

Where this becomes an issue of fairness and honesty is when the student/athlete or their parent doesn't like the sports program at their first high school and transfers to another.

The CIF has some pretty stringent rules to police this kind of activity. Basically, the rules state a transfer isn't allowed if only for athletic reasons. We all know that gets disguised pretty often under the cloak of "wanting to be a part of (fill-in-the-blank) academy or academic program."

Last year, to accomplish several things including the avoidance of lawsuits, CIF implimented an across-the-board 30-day "sit out" rule. It states that if you decide you want to transfer to another school, fine, but you cannot play the first 30 days of your season.

That has seemed to have worked and most transfers have sat out or are currently sitting out now that the spring sports seasons have begun. Here's a list of transfers I'm aware of in the EGUSD baseball and softball programs: (most of these students are sitting out 30 days)

Player                  Current School                Old School         Yr. In School
Mark Kohn          Laguna Creek                  Sheldon              Jr.

Shaq Robinson     Laguna Creek                  Sheldon              Jr.

Tanner Barnes      Elk Grove                        Pleasant Grove   Sr.

Carlos Paniaqua   Sheldon                           Elk Grove           So.
Brandon Baymiller Sheldon                         Pleasant Grove    Jr.*

Sean Nicholson     Franklin                         Elk Grove            Jr.


Kaylen Minnatee   Sheldon                         Pleasant Grove   So.*

Taryn Renowden   Elk Grove                      Pleasant Grove  Sr.*

Brianna Cherry      Cosumnes Oaks             Pleasant Grove  Sr.

*played in their team's first game this season.

To better understand why some transfers are already playing this season I asked Will DeBoard from the Sac-Joaquin Section office to comment on these local players. He wouldn't specifically address each case but replied in an email:

If a kid is eligible and doesn't have a hardship, they are going to be eligible because of a handful of reasons, including these:
* They made a valid change of residence

* They haven't played sports over the last 12 months

* They are currently a sophomore and started their new school on the first day of the school year so they were able to use the old freshman transfer rule.

Honestly, that's about it. That's where the vast majority of our transfers become eligible and if you do some homework I'm sure you'll figure that out in these cases, too. Have no clue if this came into effect for any of these kids, but your chances at being able to play - either right away or by sit-out period - shrink dramatically when it is not your first transfer. Basically the CIF rules say that if you have already transferred somewhere once, you're going to sit a year for any subsequent transfers (unless you have a great reason).

Every transfer - eligible or not - receives a letter from us saying exactly why they were deemed eligible or ineligible. The parents receive this letter and so does the school principal.

I have discovered that Barnes and Kohn are ineligible for the year because this is their second transfer. Too bad for both boys because I am aware both have  a special hardship situation which should allow them to continue their high school baseball careers at their new schools.

CIF doesn't agree, apparently.

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