High school student-athlete transfers are on the rise
The need for personal success appears to be stronger than school loyalty among a growing number of New Jersey high school athletes and their families.
According to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the 2013-14 school year saw more than 1,150 school-to-school transfers.
"There seems to be a little upward tick in, not just transfers, but transfers with more and more student-athletes going back and forth between schools," said Bill Bruno, athletic director at Brick Memorial High School. "What we're seeing is multiple transfers by the same individual to different schools, so that's one alarming thing."
Bruno said the schools known for their individual sports programs are obviously seeing more incoming transfers, and in parents' eyes, those schools present the best opportunity for scholarships.
With a genuine change of address, a transfer student can immediately start playing for his new school. Without one, there is a 30-day wait period.
There has been a push in the state legislature for an extended wait-time, but the legislation went down in flames.
"I understand why certain people want to extend 30 days to 45 days," Bruno said. "We do realize it's very lenient, and at this particular point, certain people are taking advantage of that leniency."
Using the current season as an example, Bruno explained that a transfer student may be forced to sit out for the first half of the basketball season, but he or she would still be eligible midseason for the state tournament run.