South Hills isn’t winning any popularity points these days after challenging the transfers of four local football players who left the Huskies for Bishop Amat and Charter Oak.
Bishop Amat senior tight end Brock Booth and Charter Oak junior receiver Chris Gilchrist have already been denied eligibility this season by CIF after South Hills alleged their transfers were athletically motivated. Charter Oak sophomore running back Aaren Vaughns is currently awaiting his fate.
The fourth player, Bishop Amat defensive end Randall Varela, has kept his eligibility and will do so unless South Hills can prove his transfer was athletically motivated.
The part that’s not sitting well with most local fans is that South Hills is viewed as a school that has benefited in the past from transfers and is now crying foul after seeing a rash of players leave its program. It should also be the Huskies were denied two impact transfers last season in brothers Jordan and Jamie Canada, who weren’t allowed to play after CIF determined the left Duarte for the athletically motivated reasons.
In the past, South Hills did not challenge transfers who left the school for other destinations. So why the change? The answer is two-pronged and neither is sitting very well with CIF Director of Information Thom Simmons.
The first reason is because South Hills views the rule that cost the Canada’s their eligibility last season is flawed. It’s the same rule the Huskies are invoking to challenge he transfers of Booth, Gilchrist, Varela and Vaughns.
The second reason is a change in school policy under new principal Steve James.
“Just because you change principals doesn’t mean you should change principles,” Simmons said. “As members of CIF, South Hills has the right, responsibility and duty to make the rules as part of the organization which they are members of.
“If they are not happy with the rule the way it is now, then they should go to their league and have the league present to the CIF Southern Section a proposal to change the rule. They make the rules, we don’t. We enforce them. And at the end of the day, you can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.”
Simmons also said he’s disappointed in the timing of South Hills’ protests given that Booth, Gilchrist and Vaughns all transferred last spring and spent the spring and summer practicing with their new teams. South Hills challenged the transfers in late July, according to Huskies athletic director Paul Reed.
“I can’t remember challenges ever happening this late,” Simmons said. “I can’t say it’s never happened, but I just don’t remember any happening this late. I know one thing for a fact, no school has ever challenged as many as South Hills. The rule has only been in a place for a couple of years, so there’s not a lot of history. But in those two years, nobody’s challenged as many.”
Simmons went on to confirm that South Hills did not check the box on Booth’s paperwork saying it thought the move was athletically motivated. There is no statute of limitations in place to challenge a transfer.