If you transfer for nonacademic reasons, should you be allowed to play?
It was a busy week of short press releases from the UIL. The same process repeats itself. There was an abnormal amount of transfer students in Texas over the past several months (and we assume this is similar all over the country). There are various reasons for why a student might transfer schools, and all the circumstances and outfall from COVD-19 and the shutdowns have led to an increase in transfers.
The UIL has well-defined rules on transfer eligibility for participating in athletics. Students who transfer for athletic and not academic reasons are not eligible to participate in sports. We have seen several cases this year in which the UIL has determined that players have transferred to a school for non-academic reasons and ruled the athlete ineligible for the current year of sports. We must caution that this does not necessarily mean that the UIL is saying the student transferred for football reasons, but simply that they’ve determined the transfer was not for academic reasons.
When a student is ruled ineligible from participating in the current year’s athletics, the student is given an opportunity to appeal. The UIL has consistently upheld its decision in appeals. That is what happened today, and afterward, the UIL released this brief statement:
AUSTIN, TX — The State Executive Committee of the University Interscholastic League met Wednesday to hand down decisions on eligibility of student-athletes.
A student-athlete from Prosper Rock Hill High School and two student-athletes from Prosper High School were denied an appeal for varsity eligibility, upholding the previous ruling of the district executive committees.
*Note: Not all the rulings that you see in UIL Press Releases are football-related.
The rulings we’ve seen over the past few months do bring up an interesting question: Is the UIL making the right call?
According to their rules, the UIL is making the right call. From what we can tell, they’ve been consistent. Though, with all that is going on with COVD-19, shutdowns, job losses, people being forced to work from home, people being forced to stay home and watch their kids, school being delayed, homeschooling, football seasons delayed or canceled, and the list could go on and on for 2020, should transfer students be allowed to play this year, no matter their reason for transferring?
We lean towards siding with the UIL and the current rules because of the slippery slope that making exceptions would lead to, but we can’t help but feel disappointed for any player that doesn’t get the chance to take the field.
What are your thoughts?