Well, that didn’t go as most had hoped.
A week ago it came to light that the Arizona Interscholastic Association Legislative Council shot down one of the most important proposals this state has ever seen.
Athletes, and their willing parents, have been partaking in a form of the shell game, now you see them in one uniform, then you don’t, with the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) transfer rules.
And like the one-sided shell game the same programs will continue to win as “destination schools” get richer and richer.
All because the Legislative Council — other than those three members who chose to abstain — voted down the proposed 50-mile transfer rule by one vote.
It’s such a shame. The current wet paper towel of a rule would have been replaced by something that would have brought some form of sanity to what goes on currently.
The AIA executive board approved a 25-mile rule (which stated anyone who transfers from one school to another within 25 miles has to sit out one athletic year) and passed it on to the Legislative Council, which is made up of 45 administrators and athletic directors from all conferences around the state, plus a few school board members.
The council bumped it to 50 miles resoundingly (31-8 vote for,) but then failed to come up with the needed two-thirds approval (26 of 39 council members who were present) by one vote.
I just don’t get it.
They took the time to approve the move from 25 to 50 and then said, “Nah, we don’t need that.”
Was it perfect? Hardly.
There are legitimate move-ins that are not based solely on perceived athletic advancement. Parents get new jobs, families are torn apart by divorce or just decide they’d be better suited in a new neighborhood.
Is it fair to treat those type of transfers the same as the backup running back with a superior classmate in front of him who happens to resurface at the school down the street where the top running back graduated?
Not at all, but who is going to be the one who makes that call? No one, so it wrongfully lumps everyone together.
But I, for one, was willing to do just that. There are far more suspect transfers than there are legit move-ins.
There was still going to be an appeal process and hardship case review board that I’d like to think could shift through the two, but those two options are in place now to no avail for the most part.
The good part is it isn’t dead completely. It can be brought up to a vote for ratification again and maybe it gets through next time. Maybe nine of the people (six didn’t come to the meeting, three abstained) who didn’t bother to relay their opinion this time got on board.
Until then expect the free-for-for-all to continue.
Just wait until spring football comes around this year and players show up at new schools. Media, fans and even coaches will complain per usual and say something has to be done.
The difference this time is something was done only to have it fall painfully short.
It means until further notice top programs in most sports continue to get richer like the street vendor running a con one game at a time.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.