IBJNews

IHSAA bylaw targets recruiting of younger athletes

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Parents at a summer Little League All-Star tournament will have to be much more careful of what they say or who they talk to. The same goes for parents of grade-school-athletes playing travel baseball, softball, soccer or basketball in the summer.

For the first time in history, the Indiana High School Athletic Association's bylaws on recruitment are no longer being applied to high school students alone.

With the passing of Bylaw 20-2 this past summer, potential student-athletes as young as 10 could lose their high school eligibility if recruitment is found.

IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox said the association in Indianapolis that governs high school sports in the state has heard reports of outside people influencing youngsters to attend a certain school to play sports. If found out, a fifth-grader could lose his or her high school athletic eligibility.

"We've never discussed what happens before the ninth grade," Cox said.

Until now. The bylaw was authored by the IHSAA's executive staff and approved April 30 by the Board of Directors by a 16-0 vote.

Merrillville Athletic Director Janis Qualizza was at the meeting and agrees 100 percent with the new bylaw. She said a day doesn't go by where one of her middle school coaches comes into the Pirates' athletic office and tells stories about students being recruited to leave by an unaffiliated lay coach.

"Ten years old, come on," Qualizza said. "The recruiting has gone bonkers. We have middle school kids telling our coaches they should go to another school because of this or that. It's crazy.

"I don't know the answer to stopping all of this. But we have to try."

This is the first school year where Bylaw 20-2 applies. Cox said no case has come up under 20-2 to date.

Crown Point attorney Michael Jasaitis has taken on the IHSAA in many eligibility cases through the years. He expects Bylaw 20-2 will keep him and other attorneys busy once eligibility cases come to the forefront.

"This new IHSAA bylaw appears to be a rule with terms so vague that reasonable persons would have to guess at its meaning and would apply the rule differently, which may render it invalid pursuant to the concepts of vagueness and overbreadth," Jasaitis said. "Such a rule also could be overreaching, especially in light of the fact that a high school athletic association is attempting to punish 10-year-olds, which would seem to be outside of its jurisdictional authority.

"Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what a court would do if this rule is challenged in the future."

Jasaitis pointed out one line in 20-2 that shows what he calls the vagueness of the rule. It reads, "A student with a history of athletic recruitment is a student who was, at any time after the student's Tenth (10th) birthday, recruited by an individual or agency which has a reputation or history of recruiting students who have shown athletic talent, have shown potential athletic talent or whose physical appearance was consistent with those of an athlete ..."

"What does that mean?" Jasaitis said. "We're going to look at the physical appearance of a 10-year-old?"

Marvin Rea, Bowman Academy athletic director and boys basketball coach, said also he is confused about how this will develop.

His 2010 Class A state championship team had six players who played for him in AAU ball when they were 9. He was not associated with Bowman at that time. He was an engineer.

"If this rule was written 10 years ago, I would've been in violation, or maybe not," Rea said. "What is their definition of recruiting? Coaches have camps for grade-school and middle-school kids everywhere. Can you have clinics? Can you have camps? Can baseball or softball coaches give lessons or coach travel teams where they can influence kids to attend their schools?"

Many local AAU programs use high school gyms for practice. Is that now a violation if the student is 10? Or 11 or 12?

Cox knows his association's move is historic. But he and his membership also believe that recruitment at the lowest levels has brought this about. "We've heard scenarios where sixth-graders are being identified as potential athletes by outside people," Cox said. "We're trying to combat that."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • IHSAA Op-Ed
    Maintaining the Priority: http://www.ihsaa.org/Media/MediaReleases/201213/12913MaintainingthePriority/tabid/1380/Default.aspx
  • Simpler solution
    Just do away with all public schools and let parents decide where to send their kids for whatever reason the parents deem pertinent.
  • Not that difficult
    Sounds like this rule affects all the Parochial schools, Park Tudor, etc.... It is more simple just to create a Catholic League/Parochial School League because afterall if they give scholarship money to anyone that plays sports it's a problem. That way the schools that are deemed to recruit will play themselves and play in a Class of their own for a Conference Championship and in the finality of it all a State Champtionship. So it is simply a check the box thing "Do you give scholarships of any kind to athletes"? No need for this vagueness, indirect approach to the simple question? The question can be ask in a look back format like "In the last four years has your school provided ANY formof scholarship money to any students who were athletes?

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

    2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

    3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

    4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

    5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

    ADVERTISEMENT