Last May the Michigan High School Athletic Association amended the transfer rule. The amendment states that if an athlete who does not qualify for one of 15 exemptions to the transfer rule has a pre-existing relationship with any coach at the new school through activities like AAU or open gyms, the athlete must sit out 180 school days, meaning one full school year.
But instead of putting the rule into effect at that point, the MHSAA decided to wait until Aug. 1, 2014 — 15 months — to implement the rule.
In a recent blog about the rule, MHSAA executive director Jack Roberts wrote: “This is another example of defining a problem and designing the policy with precision. It’s both most educationally sound and judicially defensible.”
Maybe Roberts can defend it to officials at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, because 6-foot-3 junior Teddy McCree played for St. Mary’s in Sunday’s Catholic League championship game and since hasn’t returned to school.
“He left,” said St. Mary’s coach/athletic director George Porritt. “We had no indication. Just decided to go. It caught me blindsided.”
McCree is believed to have transferred to Detroit Renaissance, where he will be eligible to play his entire senior year because he transferred before the fourth Friday of this semester. And because the rule is not yet in effect, the MHSAA cannot even investigate whether there’s a pre-existing relationship in this instance.
Appalling lack of appeal
Despite advances in technology, the MHSAA doesn’t have an appeal process for questionable officiating decisions, and it should.
The latest incident occurred Tuesday when the Bloomfield Hills boys defeated Clarkston for the second time this season to move into a first-place tie in the OAA with the Wolves.
Bloomfield Hills, which needs to beat Rochester Adams tonight for at least a share of the title, will play without 6-foot-8 Yante Maten. In Tuesday’s game, Maten was assessed a technical for pounding the ball on the floor after being called for a foul. Later, he was given a second technical for hanging on the rim after a dunk. The second technical means he is out for tonight’s game.
After seeing video of the dunk, I don’t think it should have been a technical. It was a call likely to have been overturned if reviewed. Instead, Bloomfield Hills must live with a bad call and the consequences.
Seven is enough
The longest hockey game in state history was the 2008 Division 1 state title game between Marquette and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, which ended in a 1-1 tie after eight overtimes and 109 minutes.
“I remember that really well,” said Traverse City West coach Jeremy Rintala. “I was listening to that on the radio — that whole thing.”
Rintala nearly relived that game Monday when West defeated the Bay Reps, 2-1, in seven overtimes, the second longest game in state history. The Bay Reps is a co-op team consisting of players from about 10 small schools in the Traverse City area.
After the fourth overtime, the teams played four-on-four, but defense dominated until Erik Anton scored with 3:27 left in the seventh overtime.
“You never expect a game like that, especially with high school kids,” Rintala said. “When they start to get tired they’re going to make mistakes and stuff — you’d expect some odd-man rushes or breakaways here and there, but it never happened. Both teams kind of hunkered down and concentrated on defense. The boys were tired. The pace didn’t slow down that much. Both teams were giving it everything they had.”
West came back Wednesday and defeated Manistee, 4-1, to move into Saturday’s 2 p.m. Division 1 regional final against Grand Rapids West Catholic at Ferris State.
Doughboys marching out of the PSL?
Detroit Pershing boys basketball coach Wydell Henry shocked reporters after the Doughboys won the Public School League championship. He said the title was meaningful because this could be Pershing’s final season in the PSL. Pershing, along with Denby, Henry Ford, Mumford, Southeastern and Central, now belong to the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, which participates in the PSL but is not part of the Detroit Public School system.
“I really don’t know much, but there is a lot of talk going around in conversation saying that we might be leaving the Public School League and starting our own league,” Henry said this week. “They really haven’t given us a yay or nay, but that’s what we’re hearing.”
Pulling out of the PSL would not be good news for the EAA schools or the remaining PSL schools.