*FRIDAY UPDATE: CIF director of communications Thom Simmons confirmed that Gala Canada, the mother of Jordan and Jamie Canada, met with CIF-SS officials on Thursday and stated her case for her sons to be reinstated. This is not an official appeal, however. Simmons said that CIF is gathering more information and if they decide to reverse their decision, it could come early next week.
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
CIF-Southern Section officials ruled on Monday that South Hills High School football players Jordan (senior) and Jamie (sophomore) Canada are ineligible for the 2009 football season, citing an “athletically motivated” transfer from Duarte High School.
The brothers left Duarte in the spring and enrolled at South Hills. They have been practicing with the Huskies football team in preparation for the season, which begins next week.
The Canada family filed a transfer request with the CIF-SS based on “change of residence,” having moved from Duarte to the South Hills high school district. But the request was denied after Duarte officials suggested the move was “athletically motivated” in paperwork filed with the CIF-SS office.
“We based our decision on statements from the previous school that this (transfer) was athletically motivated,” said CIF-SS director of communications Thom Simmons. “Now it’s up to the parents (of Jordan and Jamie Canada) and South Hills to show that it wasn’t an athletically motivated transfer.” The news caught South Hills officials by surprise on Monday. Huskies coach Steve Bogan said they’re in the process of filing an appeal.
“We know that they (the Canadas) did everything right,” Bogan said. “We know this was not a final decision, it was a step in the process. CIF has a process they have to go through to find clarity. We’re looking into it and will work with CIF to find that clarity so they can make the right decision.” Jordan Canada is a highly regarded running back with a scholarship offer from New Mexico. He rushed for 1,956 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior for the Falcons. The Canadas and several other football players left the school and enrolled at nearby schools after Duarte fired coach Wardell Crutchfield following the 2008 season. Crutchfield is still a teacher at Duarte, but his son, Wardell Crutchfield Jr., is now a student at Baldwin Park and playing for the Braves after also transferring from Duarte. “I know the (Canada) family and know it was not athletically motivated,” Crutchfield said. “It’s a shame. They were trying to move into a better situation, a safer situation. They’re good kids, I’m shocked to be honest with you.”
Duarte athletic director Robyn Garcia hinted this could happen in an April 6 conversation. Former Duarte coach Wardell Crutchfield reacted to the news on Monday: “I know the (Canada) family and know it was not athletically motivated,” Crutchfield said. “It’s a shame. They were trying to move into a better situation, a safer situation. They’re good kids, I’m shocked to be honest with you.”
Side note: Neiko Padilla, who transferred from South El Monte to South Hills, also filed a change of residence transfer, and was given a “valid” change of address approval by CIF.