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PIAA decides to keep transfer rule in place

The board of directors defeated a plan to cut the number of games a transfer student could play.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The PIAA board of directors yesterday voted down a proposed revised transfer rule for high school athletes in Pennsylvania.

District 7 representatives wanted the governing body to make it more difficult for athletes to transfer and gain immediate athletic eligibility.

After the proposal passed three previous readings, there were 13 yes votes, 17 no votes and one abstention at the meeting at the Four Points Sheraton. The proposal needed 21 yes votes to pass.

"It's a wise decision by the board to leave things pretty much as they are right now and continue to take a look at it," PIAA executive director Brad Cashman said. "It's one of those rules which nobody has the perfect rule. No association has the perfect transfer rule. So maybe when somebody comes up with a perfect transfer rule, then maybe we will adopt it."

Article VI of the PIAA bylaws prohibits transferring to a school for athletic purposes and outlines criteria defining a transfer for athletic purposes.

District 7 - the Western Pennsylvania area surrounding Pittsburgh - had proposed that students transferring for athletics would be ineligible for half of the varsity games in a season. For instance, a football player would be ineligible for the first five games after transferring.

This was District 7's third attempt to pass the rule. District officials said they would propose the rule change again next year.

District 1 chairman Rod Stone and District 1 vice-chairman Randy Ireson both voted against the proposal. District 12 chairman Rob Coleman, however, voted yes. So did District 12 committee member Evan Scott, who attended the meeting in place of District 12 vice chairman Mike Hawkins.

"It is what it is," Coleman said of the failed proposal. "We voted yes because that is the vote of our membership that we represent. It is the voice of the membership. . . . Either way, we will deal with whatever it is."