NJSIAA Proposes Big Changes
There will be a lot of interest come December when the NJSIAA holds its annual business meeting at the Pines Manor in Edison as there will be three significant proposals voted on by the general membership which would have a major impact on high school sports in the state.
This comes after yesterday’s meeting in which the Executive Committee of the NJSIAA approved all three and decided to send them to the full membership for consideration in seven months.
The first and likely most controversial would make transferring from one school to another much more difficult. Under the proposal varsity athletes who transfer would have to sit out 30 days and also be ineligible to compete in the state tournament. The only exception would be if the athlete is transferring from one non-choice public school to another with a legitimate change of address the reason.
Part of the proposal also includes a stipulation that there would be no appeals process. While some seem to think the plan is drastic most level-headed people admit there is a growing problem with athletes bouncing from one school to another and it’s not because their looking for a school with a better honors program.
The second proposal to be considered in December would separate public and non-public schools for football only with the 37 non-publics to play in their own conference. Those 37 would be placed in divisions which they decide on and would likely be based on geography, school size and strength of program. That would mean Red Bank Catholic, Donovan Catholic, St. John Vianney and Mater Dei Prep would not compete as part of the Shore Conference but could play shore teams as part of their non-conference schedule. The third and final proposal would add a wrestling region and four districts for all the non-public schools so they only competed against one another until the state championships in Atlantic City.
If the full membership, which is made up of all the school districts in the state passes any of the three proposals they will go into effect for the start of the 2016-17 school year. Bottom line is there will be lots of time to lobby support for sides of each issue between now and December.