Varsity Preps

Kosnitzky’s Korner: Possible Changes to Follow Your Coach Rule Forthcoming

 

One of the biggest challenges that impacts coaches and prep athletes in everyday practice, involves student transfer rules. In Florida, there is consideration to make the polices more flexible for all schools.  Under the current policy, which we refer to as the “Follow your Coach” Rule, a student is prohibited from playing any sports at a school for one year if the student transferred to the same place as his coach from the previous year.  This included players that may have changed to a different sport and were no longer supervised by the transferring coach.   The intent was to prevent coaches from rival schools from using non-school activities to improperly influence star players’ school choice decisions.

 

With, legislative assistance at the state level, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) announced last month that they would meet in January with their Representative Assembly to address this matter. After surveying, coaches and administrators, three-fourths of the respondents support the proposed changes.   According to FHSAA Executive Director,  Roger Dearing .

 

Under our proposed “previous contact” bylaw, student-athletes making a change in enrollment would still have to sit out a year, but only at the varsity level and only in the sport involving the coach in question. That way, the student-athlete wouldn’t be unduly penalized, but the school could not benefit immediately from bringing in outside talent.

 

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FHSAA Executive Director, Roger Dearing (Photo Courtesy: Florida Trends)

In this era of increased school choice this item links at a time where school boundaries have become more blurred. By allowing the students to not be impacted at the J.V. level it will help build consistency among the schools and minimize the sudden transfers that may occur when students complete their junior years of high school.  While football may have a more a high stakes offering than other sports, this proposal if passed will aid all athletic programs at a given school.  

 

Deering further noted that: 

In the end, we hope this new approach will eliminate uncertainty regarding students who change enrollment and the undue influence some adults attempt to exert on outstanding athletes, while at the same time introducing a greater degree of fair play.

 

Varsity Preps will keep you posted as this may impact spring practice rosters.  The 2016 athletes and beyond are impacted the greatest and it would remain to be seen how the elite programs respond to these changes if enacted. While the intent is to hamper unfair recruiting, the spirit is to consider the betterment of the student athlete.

 

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