Arizona athletic transfer numbers remain high despite rule changes

July 26, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
The number of Arizona athletes transferring high schools remains high despite new penalties that were put in place two years ago by the state athletic association.

Prior to the 2016-17 school year, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) put in place new rules that required transferring athletes to sit out 50 percent of the season before becoming eligible. Second-time transfers who are not awarded a hardship appeal must sit out the entire season.

With those restrictions in place, transfers jumped from 3,482 to 3,973 during the 2016-17 school year, The Arizona Republic found. The 2017-18 school year saw 3,606.

Prior to the 2016-17 school year, the number had never exceeded 3,500. State officials have no clear answer for what to do.

From The Arizona Republic:

Arizona high school football coaches are mixed on what the AIA needs to do to try to keep players from leaving schools.

Buckeye Youngker coach Tony Cluff said he likes the AIA’s current transfer rule, but he feels there needs to be more effort made to prevent recruiting, “whether it be coaches or organizations affiliated with certain schools.”

“I feel that is left unchecked and unpunished,” Cluff said in an email.

Other states, like Ohio, have taken steps to curb recruiting and transfers by removing an athlete’s eligibility for part of the season and the postseason. Despite these types of efforts, Coach & Athletic Director’s annual surveys shows that illegal transfers continue to pose a problem for coaches and schools.

Click here to read more from The Arizona Republic.

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