Week Two Hog Blog: The Wild Wild West of High School Transfers

Dear PPR viewers: 

Back in the day, kids pretty much went to the school in their neighborhood.  Some parents opted for private education, but that was largely the choice – your neighborhood public school or private school. 

But not all public schools are created equal.  Almost immediately, academic opportunities became an acceptable and approved reason to allow students to transfer out of their district. But while academic motivations got the “green light”, kids still weren’t allowed to transfer schools for athletic reasons.  But it didn’t take long for some families to begin asking “why not? “ 

The CIF office was given the impossible task of policing counties as big (and bigger) than San Diego’s.  As accusations of cheating and legal challenges began to mount, high school sports’ governing body soon came to the conclusion they were in an untenable position.  So last June, the rules were tweaked.  Students are now allowed to transfer schools for athletically motivated reasons.  There are still some restrictions, but there now exists a perception that the floodgates are open. 

But is that perception accurate? Are high schools sports truly becoming the Wild Wild West?  Monday I sat down with San Diego CIF Commissioner Jerry Schniepp and started with that very question.  Take a listen – we’ll continue this blog afterward:

One of perks of working on the PPR is I have access to 3 prominent high school coaches who are obligated to answer my emails; John Carroll, John Shacklett and Troy Starr all taking part in the following Q & A: 

Rudy: Should kids be able to transfer schools for athletic reasons? 

Shacklett:  Only if the “kid” wants to participate in an athletic program not offered at his school of attendance? 

Carroll: The cat is out of the bag and can be put back in. All was better when you just went to your neighborhood school, but I don’t see how you can deny a parent/student the right to choose the school with the best program to suit their needs (in any activity). 

Starr: If kids can transfer to classes with better instructors, why not better coaches? Fair is fair. 

Rudy: Is the increasing number of off-site coaches part of the problem? 

Carroll: Yes. 

Shacklett: We have so many short term coaches with limited experience that there seems to be more accusations (of cheating).  But in my opinion, the vast majority of those accusations are unfounded. 

Starr: Probably.  But what are you going to do about it? The budget is the budget.  The day of “coach” being part of the very fabric of the school he works at is over.   It’s been over for a long time. 

Rudy: So is this a problem that needs fixing? 

Shacklett: It’s been my experience that the “fix” often makes the situation worse.  I think we need to let this play out some before we react and make it worse. 

Carroll: I think it needs to play out for a year or two and let’s see what happens.  Maybe we just leave it alone. 

Starr: In most cases parents and students are educated and are trying to follow excellent coaches who teach fundamentals, have an excellent staff and organized practices.  Who wouldn’t want that for their kids? 

I’d be interested in your feedback.  We’ll continue this conversation next week as we dive deeper into this issue. You can reach me at prudy@kusi.com. 

Don’t forget, the week 2 show is this Friday at 10:30 pm.  Last one there is a rotten Pig. 


Paul W. Rudy 


Categories: The Hog Blog