EDISON, N.J. - A proposal to toughen the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's transfer rule was voted down by the general membership on Monday.
By a 139-98 margin, the schools in the association that attended the annual meeting at Pines Manor shot down a proposal that would have required student-athletes who transfer without a change of residence to sit out for 45 days and also to be ineligible for tournament competition.
"I thought it was punitive," said Haddonfield athletic director Lefty Banos, who voted against the proposal. "I think there are better ways."
Mainland athletic director Mike Gatley, a member of the NJSIAA's executive committee and the president of the Cape-Atlantic League, voted in favor of the proposal.
"I'm disappointed," Gatley said. "We've still got a lot of work to do in dealing with this issue."
Under current NJSIAA rules, a student athlete who played on the varsity at his old school and doesn't change residence must sit out 30 days, effective from the first game, at his new school.
The proposal presented by administrators from Jefferson Township and Vernon Township high schools would have increased the sit-out time by 15 days, banned transfers from state tournament participation and also applied to all student athletes, even those that did not play at the varsity level at their previous school.
"I think there was a lot of concern about that," said NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko, referring to non-varsity athletes being subjected to the same transfer rule.
Change approved. In another vote, the membership approved a proposal to change the way a school's enrollment is calculated to determine group size.