The Arizona Interscholastic Association unanimously approved Wednesday to allow Gulf Coast evacuees to circumvent traditional transfer rules and apply for athletic eligibility in schools statewide.
AIA assistant executive director Chuck Schmidt said approximately 70 student-athletes displaced by Hurricane Katrina are expected to apply for eligibility within the state of Arizona.
An application form was presented at Wednesday morning’s executive board meeting for approval by AIA executive director Harold Slemmer. Slemmer said the application — an affidavit intended to stand in place of traditionally necessary documents such as transcripts and birth certificates that are in all likelihood unavailable to the student-athletes at this time — would be available Wednesday afternoon on the AIA Web site at www.aiaonline.org.
The current AIA rule requiring transfer students to wait 10 days before participating with teams would stay in effect through the eligibility application process, Slemmer said, citing the need for displaced students to get settled in both their new home and in school before athletics become a priority.
Any AIA-sanctioned activity, including athletics, speech and debate and band competitions, would apply under the ruling, Schmidt said.
Students granted eligibility would be eligible under the provision for one year, after which all traditional AIA rules apply if they wish to retain eligibility in Arizona.
Time change: The death of a Glendale player is forcing a time change in the Cardinals’ game at Coronado Friday.
Coronado athletic director Nathan Slater said the game’s start has been moved up to 4 p.m. to allow Glendale players to attend a wake Friday night. The player died Sunday.
"Obviously, changing the game time creates major obstacles," said Slater. "We’re going to accomodate them for this type of scenario. There was no question about it."
Glendale officials declined comment on the matter except to confirm a player had died and the game time had been changed.