Students can't transfer for athletics - FOX 13 News

Students can't transfer for athletics

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Armwood High School's illegal football player scandal this year is creating new rules that will prevent student-athletes from switching schools solely for athletic reasons.

The Hillsborough County School Board held a workshop to outline a new proposal from county athletic director Lannes Robinson that will make transfers more difficult.

"It's to make sure that they (families) go through the process the appropriate way, said Robinson. That's the simple answer, but the correct answer."

The proposal is to be voted and implement by second semester, sometime between October and December. If approved, all transfer students will have to go through a strict appeals process that will not include a preference of school choice based on athletic reasons alone.

"Athletics in Florida is an important thing, so is academics," said Hillsborough County Superintendent MaryAnne Elia. "I think that what we have to do what we think is right for the students and the schools and the programs in Hillsborough County."

Student-athletes are still allowed to apply for school choice as a freshman, but will only be given approval if the school has room and is not capped, meaning over capacity.

The controversy this causes is that athletes are being held to a different standards. Students that want to switch schools for academic or fine arts programs are allowed.

"If it's (switching) is simply for athletic reasons, chances are they are not going to be approved, said Robinson. "The idea is they (colleges) find talent, not matter what school."

The state passed Bill 1403 and put it into effect on July 1. It basically allows student-athletes to transfer any point in the year and to be eligible to play as long as the sports season hasn't started. 

With one condition: each school district can add their own strict regulations. That could cause an un-even playing field in some school districts. Some districts could do nothing allowing any player to switch teams leaving Hillsborough County at a disadvantage.

"It's possible, said Robinson. Not knowing how other school districts are reacting. It's difficult for me to answer."

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