Changing high schools for athletics?

How common is it in other places for kids to change schools for a better athletic program? Had two students at our high school just announce they are moving to a nearby school district. Our school is okay at their sport, the other school is a powerhouse. Both will be seniors. I'll be interested to see if either get playing time, but assume they are moving because they think it will give them visibility?

Original Post

In our state public to private and private to public is ok. Public to public requires verification of purpose of move. You can't just rent an apartment in the next town to change high schools. There are cases of kids moving in with a (wink, wink) uncle for (wink, wink) family reasons. 

I live in an area of a bunch of small town rural schools.  We are a pretty well known school statewide in football and basketball.  By the time we get to Districts/Regionals we usually run into one of the bigger city private schools or one of the publics that's well known for having multiple kids move in every year.   It's great when our team of kids who have known each other since they were 6 beats up on the teams that have basically been brought in to win championships.   Not a better feeling in the world than to watch the big $$$ recruited kids with 150 fans in the stands walk off the court disappointed while our small town crowd of 3000+ cheers hysterically for their kids/neighbors/grandkids, etc 

I know a football player who began at School A (freshman year), and when it looked like he wouldn't win the starting QB job sophomore year, he transferred to School B (sophomore year), played a good amount but had a conflict with the coach so transferred to School C (junior year), where he split time and it looked like he would be the backup senior year, so mid-year he transferred, back to School A (second semester junior year). Then it looked he would indeed start, but at a different position (not QB), so he transferred to School D for senior year.

How's that, IowaMom? ;-)

2019Dad posted:

I know a football player who began at School A (freshman year), and when it looked like he wouldn't win the starting QB job sophomore year, he transferred to School B (sophomore year), played a good amount but had a conflict with the coach so transferred to School C (junior year), where he split time and it looked like he would be the backup senior year, so mid-year he transferred, back to School A (second semester junior year). Then it looked he would indeed start, but at a different position (not QB), so he transferred to School D for senior year.

How's that, IowaMom? ;-)

Sounds like Jeff George who proceeded to play for three colleges and six NFL teams. Popular guy!

As RJM pointed out, It is not allowed (or at least there are many restrictions in the HS regulations of most states).  As Strained pointed out, it happens all the time.  

There are several past threads that drill down into all the considerations that SHOULD be factored in but rarely is this move properly thought through in my experience.  When the move is made once already in HS, my experience is that it does not work out well for the student athlete 8 or 9 times out of 10.  

We had one student transfer (public to public) because he wasn't selected to the varsity squad (baseball) as a freshman (really?  Cry me a river).  Initially he was prevented from playing (VA's transfer rules dictate the athlete must sit for a year), but he and his parents appealed and the initial ruling was overturned.  While the appeal was ongoing he was allowed to practice with the team, but was not allowed to play (though he did suit up and was in the dugout for games).  He had moved into his Aunt's house - his parents never moved - so I don't know how it was overturned.

In the end it was all for naught.  Ended up only playing 2-3 games that year and eventually quit the squad because the coach had rules about keeping their hair short (he had long locks) and he refused to cut them.  Sort of surprised he didn't appeal that too.

He did eventually make it to a JuCo squad (D1), but I don't think he ever actually saw any playing time. 

FoxDad posted:

We had one student transfer (public to public) because he wasn't selected to the varsity squad (baseball) as a freshman (really?  Cry me a river).  Initially he was prevented from playing (VA's transfer rules dictate the athlete must sit for a year), but he and his parents appealed and the initial ruling was overturned.  While the appeal was ongoing he was allowed to practice with the team, but was not allowed to play (though he did suit up and was in the dugout for games).  He had moved into his Aunt's house - his parents never moved - so I don't know how it was overturned.

In the end it was all for naught.  Ended up only playing 2-3 games that year and eventually quit the squad because the coach had rules about keeping their hair short (he had long locks) and he refused to cut them.  Sort of surprised he didn't appeal that too.

He did eventually make it to a JuCo squad (D1), but I don't think he ever actually saw any playing time. 

Had almost the exact same with one of ours a few years back... transferred in from a private, so was a sophomore.  He had some talent and could have developed into a player.  Part of the transfer rules required that he would have to sit a good portion of V games.  Even aside from that, he was behind a very good V starter and needed game time, so I assigned him to JV when we broke squads.  I explained everything to him in detail.  

The next day, I observed him at a school function and in a 1/2 hour snapshot, came away with the distinct impression that he was a "me" guy and a bit too enamored with the ladies.   Day after that, got a call from his dad, complaining that he wasn't chosen for the V squad and that his talents would be wasted on JV... that he would just sit out the HS season and get much better training with his travel teams.  I said OK, but before returning to my program, he would have to display that he had learned a bit more about what being a "team player" means.  I also said I would have to hear it directly from him.  Kid calls me back a little later and I hear his dad in the background telling him exactly what to say.  "Yeah, coach, I feel my talents would be wasted being with JV..."  A direct pipeline of bad parent crap being shoved directly into his ears and out of his mouth.  He played football too...  huh, what do ya know, same exact scenario played out.  Never made it back to either field after that.  No more sports.  But he had a lot of girlfriends.  Great guidance, dad.  

A kid at my son's high school was a freshman on the j.v. team. He was the backup catcher to another freshman. He also pitched but wasn't used as a pitcher. His sophomore season, he caught on the j.v. team since the other catcher was now on varsity. He would have made the varsity team his junior season, but was blocked at his primary position, and not good enough as a pitcher to ever see the mound. It was a given that he would always sit on the varsity at this hs. 

Prior to his junior season, he and his family moved a short distance away and he transferred to one of the worst teams in the conference. He became the starting catcher immediately and also saw time on the mound. He continued in this role as a senior as well. So, it worked out for him. 

 

Here in our area all of the school districts are part of a larger Learning Community, which really means one big community.  So with that, it is a simple request and you can pretty much pick and choose which school you go to by simple saying something like "the HS is on my way to work..." and boom... your kid goes to the HS of your choice.  So yes that happens all the time, in our community we have two HS East and West, and a lot of the better athletes seem to request to go to the West school leaving the East school struggling to put quality teams (in any sport) on the field/court.

Iowamom23 posted:

How common is it in other places for kids to change schools for a better athletic program? Had two students at our high school just announce they are moving to a nearby school district. Our school is okay at their sport, the other school is a powerhouse. Both will be seniors. I'll be interested to see if either get playing time, but assume they are moving because they think it will give them visibility?

If we don't have rules then we don't have people trying to get around them.  In all seriousness, this has been going on for as long my kids have been in grade school.  A good friend of mine is a high school coach, and he's been telling me lots of stories and situatons like you've described for a long time.   This is nothing new.

3and2Fastball posted:

Outside of the hotbed States, High School Baseball is like glorified Little League as compared to Travel/Showcase ball, people (in my opinion) get way too uptight about and make way too big of a deal about high school Baseball

My son loves the high school team waaaay more than the travel ball team. Travel ball team is loaded with prima donnas, jerks and the parents who raised them. 

3and2Fastball posted:

Outside of the hotbed States, High School Baseball is like glorified Little League as compared to Travel/Showcase ball, people (in my opinion) get way too uptight about and make way too big of a deal about high school Baseball

When my son started travel ball, at age 10, first words from the head coach were "we believe we have the kids who will be the starting lineup for the high school varsity team, and we want to teach you guys to play the game so the last game of your senior year is the state championship game."

THey are now juniors, five of the starters are from that group, and they won their first substate game last night. The five college coaches sitting in the stands didn't seem to think the game was little league at all.

Son plays travel ball in fall now, just for more swings, more innings pitched and cause he loves the game. But we always discuss whether to do it. We never have a doubt that he will play for his high school team. And the kids who are changing districts for what they see as a better opportunity quite frankly shocked us.

Here is the wildest situation I know about:

A kid started HS in the midwest at a football power house.  Don't think he played varsity as a freshman.  The following year he moved across the country to my area to attend a private school national powerhouse football program.  He came in as a freshman, which I guess is allowed when moving from public to private.  Something went wrong, because less than a week into his second freshman year he transferred to my son's school (often a top ten team nationally).  He unseated the JV QB and looked to have a promising future.  However, he couldn't beat out the varsity backup for next year, so he has now transferred back to a differant program in the midwest.

That is four high schools in less than 24 months calendar time.  Due to camps and showcases the kid already has accepted a scholarship from a major D1 program, so I guess his HS career isn't critical?

Also - when this kid came into my son's school the JV QB who he jumped over, as well as the freshman team QB both transferred mid year.

 

Most of the transfers I know about don't work out.  If they kid was good enough he would have made the team at the school he is at.  About the only thing I know of that has worked out is transferring from a smaller school to a bigger school for the exposure of a very very talented player.  Right now we have a 3A QB who transferred to my kids HS.  We play in 8A (largest classification).  We are a perennial football power house.  Won states within the last 5 years, ran up to semi's two seasons within the last 5.  Did not make the playoffs for the first time in 20 years last year.  The team was OK, not good.  In IL you need 5 wins to be playoff eligible our conference is very tough.  A few schools are leaving because unless your in one of 4 programs you are pretty much guaranteed 4 losses in a season.  Anyway, QB is very talented.  Family moved to the district mostly so the kid can play football here.  This years team is maybe a little more talented the last years, but lacked a QB.  He will start here and will probably get the additional exposure he needs.  In this case it made sense.

I have seen a number of other cases.  More of them like this.  They almost never work out.  Kid is the starting QB and gets decent basketball playing time in Jr. High.  Thing is the kids parents think he is a great player.  In reality he is low side of average.  In addition they live next door to the Jr. High heavy weight football coach.  He also coaches the 8th grade A basketball team (highest level in the school).  The coach has a reputation for having favorites regardless of skill set.  Its true, I have a kid that was very talented and one of his favorites, so he got a lot of playing time, but I watched other kids with talent sit because the coach favorited someone else.  Anyway, kid is starting QB in Jr. High.  Goes through HS summer camps, gets 3 days into official summer workouts and the family realizes they kid is not going to start on the Frosh A team, let alone be a QB on the B team.  Of course the coaches "don't know what they are doing".  Kid transfers to a private school.  Family did not research transfer rules, but in IL if you transfer public to private after you attend the first practice at the public school you need to sit out a semester.  Kid is now sitting out football season and the first few weeks of basketball season.  Dad is going around telling everyone, to wait until next year when we play you.  My kid is going to dominate and prove the public HS coaches wrong.  Next year rolls around.  Kid is on the team but buried on the depth chart at a position other then QB.  Didn't even make the basketball team.

I've seem more of the later example the the first one over the last 10 years or so that I've been involved with HS sports.

The 3a to 8a transfer is a rumor, but I do have very close connections with the school and football program and not one coach thinks there is any other reason  

 

The public to private came from the kids dad. He was not shy about letting everyone know exactly how he felt about the situation. 

2019Dad posted:

I know a football player who began at School A (freshman year), and when it looked like he wouldn't win the starting QB job sophomore year, he transferred to School B (sophomore year), played a good amount but had a conflict with the coach so transferred to School C (junior year), where he split time and it looked like he would be the backup senior year, so mid-year he transferred, back to School A (second semester junior year). Then it looked he would indeed start, but at a different position (not QB), so he transferred to School D for senior year.

How's that, IowaMom? ;-)

That's insanity. 

Another kid I know transferred prior to 9th grade for football. Since he didn't move, he was required to sit out his 9th grade year for sports. He was a QB who had potential and projected at the college level as a pro style QB. 6'4" 200lbs, good arm, stood in the pocket. Team made it to the state semifinals his senior year

In his three years, he set the county's career and single single season records for passing yardage and the county's all time TD mark. The high school he was supposed to attend was up and down and was a coaching carousel. Their offense was centered around the county's top RB. So, as a qb, it made sense that he transfer to a more passer friendly offense.

A quirk to the story is that if an older sibling transfers high schools, and has to sit out a year for sports, younger siblings are grandfathered in without having to sit a year. So this young man's younger sister was able to play volleyball as a 9th grader without having to sit out.

As it turned out, the QB was recruited by several schools, including some D1's, but his best offer was from a D2, which he accepted. The strange thing is that the college he chose was an option team that utilizes a dual threat QB, and the QB they started was more of a run first guy. The kid that I knew eventually dropped out.

This is a huge issue in our area. School districts are allowed to accept a certain number of out-of-district transfers every year. If a kid is accepted for fall of their 9th grade year, there is no penalty for the transfer and they can play sports immediately. If they transfer after 9th grade, there is theoretically a one-year wait. However, there are exceptions and I've only ever seen it enforced one time. This has been really hard on our program because the next district over is a baseball powerhouse. They were state champs this year. We have lost several players to that district and it has really hurt our baseball program. 

This doesn't even include the two private schools in the state that straight up recruit kids. 

I don't really mind "Recruiting" and such.  It gives kids who have special skills a chance to very often go to schools that are better academically and socially.   Some private schools are interested in reaching out to and influencing minority kids and diversifying their student bodies.  Athletics gives them a drawing card by which they can gain these kids' interest.  

Here in Cobb county, folks can pay something like $300 and attend City of Marietta HS. Almost new School & facilities and continuing to get better in all sports. School of choice also radically impacts districted schools if kids want to move to a "winning"/better program.

Where we live kids transfer schools all the time for athletics. Mostly private school kids but public school kids too. Most times it works out but not always. I have seen kids transfer their senior seasons to play for a particular coach or system for baseball basketball and football. In our conference this summer several schools ,including ours, had starters transfer out to other private schools as well as from private to public.Our Conference does not allow transfers within the conference past Sept of Soph year without sitting out a year.

Some kids already had offers and others were chasing offers by going to programs that have a history of college commits they turn out. Our school wont accept a senior transfer that is from within our general metro area. Some programs are more aggressive than others when it comes to recruiting bona fide D1 players for any sport and they only care about how their program is perceived once they announce publicly how many players sign D1 NLI. 

Every year in my area there are reports of recruiting by some schools but the investigation board has no power to do anything or gather information: http://www.seattletimes.com/se...ons-unsubstantiated/

Another story from my area from last year was the Michael Porter fiasco. His transfer in to a school was legit, moved across country etc.. But the players from other high schools in the area that transferred were not.

So yes it's against the rules in our area for recruiting/switching schools but there's nothing in place to back it up.

A high school football team in my  area has long been accused of recruiting. In fairness, I don't believe the school or coaches are actively involved. But, a wealthy supporter has been. He built a number of new rental houses near the school, and actively recruited parents as tenants. These tenants happened to have sons who were very good players at other area high schools. So, they move and get a great deal on rent and the school gets some very good players. It is definitely not above board, but it technically doesn't break any rules.

I didn't believe it was true so I asked the retired AD, and without hesitation he said, yep it happened and is still happening.

Stafford posted:

A high school football team in my  area has long been accused of recruiting. In fairness, I don't believe the school or coaches are actively involved. But, a wealthy supporter has been. He built a number of new rental houses near the school, and actively recruited parents as tenants. These tenants happened to have sons who were very good players at other area high schools. So, they move and get a great deal on rent and the school gets some very good players. It is definitely not above board, but it technically doesn't break any rules.

I didn't believe it was true so I asked the retired AD, and without hesitation he said, yep it happened and is still happening.

It seems pretty slimy, but at least you KNOW what the families are getting in that deal.

Iowamom23 posted:
Stafford posted:

A high school football team in my  area has long been accused of recruiting. In fairness, I don't believe the school or coaches are actively involved. But, a wealthy supporter has been. He built a number of new rental houses near the school, and actively recruited parents as tenants. These tenants happened to have sons who were very good players at other area high schools. So, they move and get a great deal on rent and the school gets some very good players. It is definitely not above board, but it technically doesn't break any rules.

I didn't believe it was true so I asked the retired AD, and without hesitation he said, yep it happened and is still happening.

It seems pretty slimy, but at least you KNOW what the families are getting in that deal.

Sounds like Buddy Garrity from the Friday Night Lights television series. 

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