Sunday, July 30, 2000


Big decisions await OHSAA in October

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        An unprecedented 22 referendums will be voted on in October by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

        Five or six is the average, but the number ballooned as a result of an ad hoc committee's recommendations for sweeping changes to the OHSAA's bylaws and constitution.

        Although most of the recommended changes are minor and involve only the rewording of bylaws, others will stir controversy.

        OHSAA commissioner Clair Muscaro and the five assistant commissioners annually travel to 24 locations to conduct informational meetings with the principals and athleticdirectors.

        The three referendums that have stirred the most interest deal with transfers, foreign exchange students and recruiting.

        • Foreign exchange students: Bylaw 4-8-1 deals with the eligibility of foreign exchange students, which has been a hot topic in the past year.

        If the referendum is approved, it will be difficult for students from outside the United States to gain athletic eligibility.

        This change is designed to encourage students from other countries to select Ohio schools for educational purposes, not for athletic development.

        There would be exceptions.

        If the parents of the student move into and become legal residents of that school district, the athlete would be eligible, as would students on an approved foreign exchange program list.

        Foreign exchange students ruled eligible for sports would not be eligible to participate in postseason tournaments.

        • Student transfers: Bylaw 4-7-2 says explicitly that a student's designated school is the first attended in ninth grade.

        It reads: “If a student transfers after the first day of the ninth-grade year, that student will be ineligible (at the new school) for one year from the date of enrollment.”

        But if the parents or the legal guardian moved into the new school district, the student would be eligible immediately.

        “The commission sent out a survey last year on the matter of transfer students,” said Dale Creamer, Brookville principal and a member of the Board of Control. “There was evidence of more than 1,200 athletes transfering for athletic reasons.”

        • Recruiting: Bylaw 4-9-2 defines recruiting.

        It reads: “A student is considered a prospective athlete after enrolling in the seventh grade. The term "recruit' shall mean the use of influence by any person connected or not connected with the school to secure the transfer of a prospective student-athlete.”

        The penalties for violations are spelled out in Bylaw 4-9-5. They include suspension of membership in the OHSAA.

        Creamer said feedback from throughout the state indicated these referendums will pass, becoming effective in August 2001.

        MORE CHANGES: At the end of each season, the coaching association from each sport is given an opportunity to propose changes for the next season.

        These requests are presented to the Board of Control for consideration.

        At the July meeting, the Board of Control made the following decisions in regard to the winter sports.

        • Basketball: Expanded the number of players who can dress for tournament games from 12 to 15.

        • Swimming: Denied a request to expand boys swimming from one to two divisions and denied a proposal to have the seventh- and eighth-place state finishers on the award stand.

        • Gymnastics: Approved allowing an alternate gymnast to compete in the individual competition if the qualifying gymnast can't compete.

        • Wrestling: Denied a proposal to sponsor a state team tournament.

        CLASSIFIEDS: Princeton has the following coaching openings: assistant varsity boys soccer, boys head junior varsity soccer, assistant reserve boys soccer, assistant freshman boys soccer assistant and assistant girls reserve soccer. Call Scott Kaufman at 552-8297.

        New Miami: assistant football coach. Call Kevin Dunnette at 863-4917.

        Amelia: freshman football coach. Call Mike Rapp at 753-5120, ext.18.

        Sycamore: girls varsity tennis, junior varsity girls tennis; junior varsity boys soccer and girls varsity water polo. Call Jim Stoll at 489-0405, ext.368.

        Little Miami: junior high volleyball, football and basketball. Call Steve Schwankhaus at 863-4917 (w) or 677-0170 (h).

        Lemon Monroe: boys soccer, girls volleyball, boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling and boys track. Call John Payne at 513-539-8471.

        Fairfield: volleyball, all levels. Call Laura Stammer at 942-2999.

        Anderson: freshman boys soccer. Call Bill Miller at 232-4794.


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