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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | DIGEST

Mission League OKs Transfer Rule

November 30, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

To discourage students from switching schools for athletic reasons, Mission League principals voted 8-1 Tuesday to approve a rule that will make any student who transfers within its league without a change of residence ineligible for varsity competition for one year.

The rule is scheduled to take effect in January.

Students may seek an exemption of the rule before a three-member panel of Mission League principals.

Students who transfer to a Mission school from outside the league are not affected and would be eligible immediately under open enrollment.

Principal Gary Murphy of Chaminade was instrumental in getting the measure passed. Last year, he announced that Chaminade would no longer accept students who transferred for purely athletic reasons.

"Free agency is not a value we want to have in high school athletics," Principal David Doyle of Crespi said. "It's a philosophical statement that we want to teach these kids loyalty."

Doyle said the rule also is designed to offer protection to athletes who play on freshman and junior varsity teams but lose their varsity spot to a transfer student despite having committed several years to the school's athletic program.

Other leagues are considering similar rules.

"Obviously, it's an idea some people believe is gaining momentum," said Commissioner Jim Staunton of the Southern Section. "It's an effort to clean up the whole transfer situation, where [parents] are placing athletics ahead of academics. I think it's well intentioned."

The Marmonte League is on the verge of approving an even tougher transfer policy. The Marmonte is proposing that any student who transfers without a change of residence would be ineligible for varsity competition for one year.

The school boards for the Moorpark, Simi Valley and Las Virgenes districts have approved the rule, but the Conejo Valley school board has failed to take up the measure. Unless all four school boards give approval, the rule won't be instituted.

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