Last June, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association relaxed its transfer rule as part of a COVID-compliance package, waiving its rule that requires transfers to sit out the first 30 days of the season.
Now, the state association for high school sports will waive that same rule if student athletes elect to transfer back to their original school, announced in a new proposal on Wednesday.
If passed and enacted, the COVID-compliance package part two will enable student athletes to transfer back to the school they attended on March 16, 2020, without penalty — as long as that transfer happens on or before Sept, 1, 2021.
The proposal passed its first reading Wednesday and will need to be passed again next month by the Executive Committee to be adopted.
Any transfer that occurs after Sept, 1, 2021 will be subject to the NJSIAA’s transfer rules.
“The proposal will allow any student-athlete to transfer back to the school that they were enrolled at and attending on March 16, 2020, without consequence,” NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire said. “
The proposal also extends the credit waiver policy that the NJSIAA enacted last June, stating that any student unable to meet credit requirements due to a pandemic-related disruption academically, may be eligible to participate in a sport if the school’s principal sends a letter to the NJSIAA arguing for it.
This credit policy will only be carried out through the first semester of the 2021-22 school year.
“Given the uncertainty of the remaining school year for many school districts, we feel some flexibility may be needed to start the school year,” Maguire said. “But we also want to let our membership know, that by the start of the second semester, we fully expect that all student-athletes will have had adequate opportunity to get back on track academically.”
There have been roughly 120 credit waivers submitted to the NJSIAA this school year, assistant director Kim Cole said.
“People are having very troubling times, both with health issues, with mental health issues and the academic issues they are exposed to in this virtual environment,” Cole said. “With a corrective action plan in place, it’s the safety net we hope to give them a way to be able to play a sport and then get on academic success.”
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Brian Deakyne may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrianDeakyne.
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