The dirty word in high school athletics is recruiting, but how many are actually involved? It’s hard to know for sure. Impossible really.
The dirty word in high school athletics is recruiting, but how many are actually involved? It’s hard to know for sure.
Let’s make it easy, if a family can prove that it moved into a new school district, then their kids should be allowed to play sports at the new high school he or she is enrolled in.
If a family feels so strong that that they need to uproot and change residences, let them do what they feel is best for their children.
Parents are spending thousands of dollars rearing their children in club programs, so there are many more parents shopping certain schools than there are coaches that actually recruit.
The constant transfer of athletes leaves you guessing which youths transfer because of their parents, and which are enticed to move because of undue influence by coaches.
The CIF-Southern Section recently ruled South Hills High School baseball player Jacob Shirley ineligible after his family moved into the South Hills high school district, which is how most athletes transfer from one school to another in hopes of becoming athletically eligible.
Shirley, a junior, was a standout football and baseball player at West Covina, but instead of applying for a hardship, his family moved, only to learn later that he would be declared ineligible after the CIF-SS determined his transfer was “athletically motivated,” citing Rule 207 in the CIF-SS Blue Book Section C, (3) and (4) as reasons for declaring him ineligible.
The language in the CIF-SS blue book that led to Shirley’s ineligibility reads, “A transfer of a student from his or her current school of attendance with or without a corresponding change of residence to any high school where the student participates or participated during the previous 24 months on a non-school athletic team that is associated with the new school in the sports previously participated in shall be considered prima facie evidence (sufficient evidence) of undue influence/recruiting by the school to which the student transfers.”
South Hills was never given any hard evidence by the CIF-SS for making this decision. By using loose language in the blue book, however, the CIF-SS has enough “sufficient evidence,” to make their decision.
Not right. Not fair.
There is no way the CIF-SS can properly police all the transfers that are happening in high school athletics, so to single out some and disregard others using language that suggests a transfer is “athletically motivated,” will always stir controversy.
Just eliminate it, let them transfer. As one coach explained, “If a kid doesn’t want to play for us, let him leave.”
I’m not naive, I know on the surface that Shirley’s transfer appears “athletically motivated.”
But in cases like Shirley’s, don’t they all?
Just let them play and let the public debate which schools and programs are win-at-all-costs, and which aren’t.
That debate has gone on forever, and will continue.
Every time you hear about a youth transferring to Mater Dei to play sports, don’t you always feel they’re doing it for athletic reasons?
Or let’s be fair. Josiah Thropay recently started at Monrovia, then left to Bishop Amat and competed in the summer passing league for the Lancers.
When it became clear he might not become the starting quarterback, he transferred to Charter Oak, where he played basketball and will compete for the Chargers football team next fall.
I’m not accusing Thropay or Charter Oak of any wrongdoing, but on the surface doesn’t it appear that he probably wound up at Charter Oak for “athletically motivated” reasons?
Eric Ruvalcaba attended Whittier last season and played for a sub.-500 baseball team. Now Ruvalcaba is a starting pitcher for Northview, the 2008 CIF-SS Division IV champion. Catcher Arman Valenzuela was at Etiwanda last year and is now the Vikings’ starting catcher.
Northview has done everything to ensure these two have done everything by the books. I have a lot of respect for Vikings coach Darren Murphy because he goes out of his way to cross the T’s and dot the I’s in cases such as this. But on the surface, doesn’t it feel that these two players might have wound up at Northview for athletic reasons?
What winds up happening is that Murphy’s credibility gets called into question when it could simply be the parents of these children that initiated the move?
Just like South Hills coach Kevin Smith’s credibility is being called into question, when this could simply have been the parents’ decision.
We will never know for sure, which is why declaring youths ineligible because of “athletically motivated” reasons without enough solid evidence will never work or be fair.
The CIF-SS has many other rules in place to maintain the integrity of transfers, but when you start using language that suggests guilt by association, then you create more problems than solutions.
Perception is reality, people are always going to look at schools such as Mater Dei indifferently because of the reasons athletes attend there.
I’m always going%