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Adopt New Transfer Rules

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New rules are needed to more effectively control the illegal transfer of student athletes among the state’s high schools.

A joint series of reports by KSL and the Deseret News revealed disturbing abuses of the current system. Under Utah’s 1990 open enrollment law, it is ok for a student to switch high schools for virtually any reason, but if a transfer is made to play competitive athletics, the student is supposed to lose a year of eligibility.

Sitting out a year rarely happens. Instead, the illegal recruiting of young athletes has never been more prevalent. The reason, as one prominent coach explained, is simple: no one is ever penalized. Some coaches and boosters, with impunity, seek out the best athletes for their programs. It’s not uncommon for parents and their children to take extraordinary measures to find the best deals.

The system is full of loopholes.

Now, the Utah High School Activities Association is proposing some important changes. Transferring students, for example, would have to specifically explain the circumstances of any proposed transfer. Additionally, the association would establish an independent committee to investigate, evaluate and approve or deny each transfer.

Both proposals have merit. More importantly, KSL believes whatever changes are made must include the will to more effectively enforce the established rules.

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