The Arizona Interscholastic Association's Legislative Council approved an amendment to an association bylaw Friday that will render students who transfer to another school where their club coach is employed ineligible for one year.
AIA executive director Dr. Harold Slemmer said the amendment is based on a rule Oregon basketball coaches helped get in their bylaws recently to combat the problem of athletes following club coaches.
"After a kid enrolls as a freshman, if he wants to transfer to a school where his club coach or a personal trainer or any type of instructor is employed they will have to sit out a year," Slemmer said. "It's worked well there."
Oregon's rule does not allow for appeal. The AIA Legislative Council will allow for a hardship appeal.
Mesa district athletic director Steve Hogen and Gilbert district athletic director Mark Cisterna both were hoping to have an option for appeal.
"I understand the need for a rule like this," Hogen said. "But with a rule like this you catch the shark but can catch 200 guppies, too. In Mesa for example you have Mesa Aquatics (swim club). A lot of the coaches in the club coach at our high schools. If a student transfers to a another school, moves for a very legitimate reason that doesn't involve who the coach is, they would have to sit out a year. At least they have an (appeals) avenue available to them."
The other issue that received attention at Friday's Legislative Council meeting was allowing football teams to used shields, dummies and sleds during spring football practice. The proposal was initially defeated, but reintroduced and adopted without the use of sleds.
A group of athletic trainers, represented by Brophy trainer Chris White, were cautious about allowing the extra equipment for spring practice since no helmets or shoulder pads are used or allowed in the spring.
White said he understood the teaching that could be useful in having the added equipment, but was wary because the chance of injury at spring football could increase.