By Phil Anastasia

Inquirer Staff Writer

EDISON, N.J. -- On the day the NJSIAA's general membership approved legislative proposals that could dramatically change the landscape in football and wrestling, a bid to strengthen the transfer rule was overwhelming rejected.

The membership voted 244-99 against the transfer-rule change proposal, with one abstention.

The proposal, which was created by the NJSIAA's public/non-public commitee -- the same body that created the legislation for a non-public football conference -- would have separated schools into "open" and "closed" enrollment categories with drastically different rules for each with regard to transfers.

Under the terms of proposal, a student athlete who participated in varsity sport and who transferred to or from an "open" enrollment school would have been required to sit out 30 days of the next varsity season -- as well as the state tournament in that season.

That would have been the case even if the athlete was able to show a bona fide change of address.

Under current NJSIAA rules, an athlete who transfers has to sit out 30 days in sports in which they participated as a varsity athlete unless they can show a bona fide change of address, in which case they are immediately eligible.

That rule remains in place after Monday's vote of the general membership at the Pines Manor banquet facility.

The transfer-rule proposal categorized "open" enrollment schools as non-public schools as well as public schools that accept tuition students and/or that participate in the state's school-choice program.

"Closed" enrollment schools are traditional public schools that only accept students from a clearly-defined geographic area.

The transfer proposal was approved by the NJSIAA's executive committee but overwhelming rejected by the general membership.

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com

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