The Arizona Interscholastic Association did something many wanted to see, except for those directly impacted.
Its executive board denied appeal, after appeal, after appeal.
On Wednesday, 22 of of the 27 appeals heard were denied.
There was an outcry of injustice on social media.
Scottsdale Saguaro running back Marqui Johnson and Chandler cornerback David Eppinger now have their entire senior football seasons wiped out, not because of hardship, but because of the AIA’s prior-contact bylaw.
Those impacted want to see that bylaw overhauled.
But it was put in place several years ago because of club basketball and players being steered to high schools by club coaches who had ties to the school.
Recruiting isn’t allowed in high schools. That’s the biggest rule violation that results in probation and a playoff ban.
Nobody wants to see kids have things that have such a positive impact their lives taken away. But, rules are rules.
If there is concrete evidence that shows the transfer was unavoidable and unforeseeable and the AIA still denied hardship, then shame on the AIA.
“Hardships are a challenge,” AIA Executive Director David Hines said. “However, if a transfer takes place and a hardship is brought forward, it must be very well-documented and really meet the definition of a real hardship. Choice is not a hardship. A hardship has to be unique in its circumstances and cannot have any hint of impropriety.
“A hardship regarding prior contact must have a unique, documented rationale that again truly meets the intent of the rule.”
But, the AIA did the right thing by making a strong statement this week that it’s going to only get tougher to transfer without consequences.
Parents need to understand the rules, not make knee-jerk reactions, and give their children the right guidance.