The issue of recruiting in the scholastic athletic world simply won’t go away.
The beginning of a new school year will find athletes enrolled in schools they were not in when the last school year ended. This is true of both middle and high schools in most states in the country.
Transfer on the part of a student-athlete stimulates discussion and accusations to a great degree. The charge of recruiting is cried loud and long when a talented athlete shows up at a new school. The loud accusations are made mostly by nearby schools or intense rivals.
Before we examine the reasons student-athletes transfer from one school to another let us all agree that transfers do take place. There are well defined rules, provisions and regulations by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) concerning transfers and eligibility.
I hear the uninformed and the misinformed uttering all kinds of accusations toward schools with successful programs and winning records. Little comes of these accusations by reason that the facts don’t support the assertions.
Let me go on record as affirming if anyone ever hears from my voice or my written word that someone is ineligible because of a fraudulent transfer, the evidence will be in hand and it will be accurate. That will be true lest I “transfer” myself to the group of false accusers and gossipers of the world. Enough said on that.
Why do kids decide to leave one school and go to another to play sports?
There are two reasons and please read carefully. I believe the explanations will be clear and simple. The explanations might not be liked and even denied. Examination of records over the years will prove these two points made.
Kids who transfer fall into one of two groups:
1) Kids who realize they can’t play at the school where they attend. They find their talents and abilities are not as good as their friends and they have got to find a place they can play.
This type of kid doesn’t improve themselves or the team to which they transfer and often denies himself or herself of being on a winning or championship team they left.
From the parents of this type of kids goes up the howls of how the coaches did not treat their kid fairly or did not give their kid a chance. In the end, parents and kids did not hurt the team they left; they only hurt themselves.
2) The second group is more attractive and more admirable. These are the kids who could play at any school they attended. They are good enough to play and make an impact on any program. Still, if they transfer they must do it legally.
Someone remarked after I wrote a year or so ago about the rules of legitimate transfers that I was just telling people how to do so. My point was a warning to parents and students not to mess up their eligibility if they do transfer. I support following the rules. The GHSA Constitution sets forth the rules better than I did. They do not encouraging transfers and neither do I. My, what ignorance?
So, why does the kid transfer that has the talent and ability to play anywhere and make an impact at any school in the state?
They see an attractive program and they desire to be a part of a winning team. That sentence embraces many factors. It is unfair and dishonest to accuse a team to which a talented athlete makes a legitimate move without the facts. Calhoun City Schools have come in for their share of criticism in past years. It is true that talented athletes have come Calhoun’s way in various sports and at various levels.
Possibly those families embraced the sentiments I expressed three years ago when I said, “If I had a young talented athlete (boy or girl) and lived in Northwest Georgia, I would turn the world upside down to legally and fairly get my child in Calhoun City Schools.”
- Jerry Smith