Education

Columbia High School's Athletic Director Comments on Passing of NJSIAA Transfer Rule Proposal

1a223fd98202061a12cf_Columbia_High_School.jpg
1a223fd98202061a12cf_Columbia_High_School.jpg

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – The somewhat never ending saga of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (NJSIAA) student-athlete transfer rule might have seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

Members of the NJSIAA Executive Committee voted in an overwhelming majority (Yes – 27, No – 7, Abstain – 0) to accept a new transfer policy that would mandate a 30-day sit-out period for all student-athletes that change schools during the first reading of the proposal at the committee’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

“I think this is something that has been an issue at NJSIAA," Executive Director Steve Timko said. “I have been here for 17 years and I was an AD for 25 years before that and its been a problem. It was a year at one time when I started. It went back [to 30 days]. Then it went to a year again and it went back. We needed to address the situation and I think [project manager Mike Zapicchi] and the committee did a great job.”

Sign Up for E-News

Larry Busichio, Athletic Director at Columbia High School, explained his opinions on the decision, stating "as an AD, I’m very conflicted with this new rule because if you have a kid who’s a legitimate transfer it’s unfair to make that kid sit out for 30 days or half the season."

Busichio continued, "However, I do understand what the State is trying to do, and that’s ‘clean-up’ the situation where some kids transfer from one district to another because they’ve found a 'magical address' to be able to use to register as their home."

Zapicchi and NJSIAA executive committee president Elaine McGrath led the 23-member Public/Non-Public Committee that was tasked with dissecting the current policy and formulating the new proposed rule.

According to the proposed policy, all student athletes, regardless of level of play (varsity or junior varsity), “who transfer from one secondary school to another shall be subject to a 30-day period of ineligibility, or one half of the maximum number of games allowed in the sport by NJSIAA rules, whichever is less, in each sport in which the student participated” in at their last school.

A student’s ineligibility would begin on the official start date of the regular season. Transfers would be allowed to practice and participate in preseason scrimmages before and during their ineligibility period. The policy does not restrict a freshman student from transferring schools.

Additionally, should a student transfer schools on or after the team’s first scrimmage or after the official start of the regular season (as determined by the NJSIAA), the student would be ineligible for the state tournament.

There are three exceptions to the ineligibility phase. Transfers are immediately eligible if they are (1) mandated by the courts or by the Division of Child Protection and Permency, (2) the result of military service transfers, (3) the result of a documented Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying statute.

The change in policy is directly related to the students who are affected. In the current rule, a transfer student is immediately eligible to participate if they have a bona fide change in residence. The new rule removes that exception.

 Busichio said he felt fortunate that at Columbia there have not been a lot of kids transferring out over the years, and for the most part, transfers into Columbia have come from kids who live in Maplewood and South Orange who have spent a year at a private school, and found it wasn’t the right fit for them, and returned to Columbia. Busichio said while he feels bad for those kids who would have to sit out for 30 days with this new rule, he also points out it's not for the whole season, so they would get to play at least some of the time.

Zapicchi said there are multiple reasons for the change, mostly related to the “whatever the most recent thing that happened” mentality.

“The multiple transfer athlete is something that really came up over the last few years. In basketball, that is the issue,” Zapicchi said. “In football, it is the transfer for a better spot on the depth chart. That can be for public to non-public or non-public to public, either one. For us, it s attempts to subvert the bona fide change of residence rule. So, its really all of them.”

During the hour-long discussion on the proposed change, several executive committee members representing urban areas (including Paterson and Newark schools) argued that their schools would be negatively effected by the change as there are many cases of transfers due to change in guardianship or living arrangements.

Zapicchi told the representation that if the courts were involved then the student would immediately be eligible.

There is still hope for those NJSIAA members who are against the new proposal. Should the second reading also pass through the executive committee and the rule change is added to the books on July 1, 2017, NJSIAA members have six months from the official notification of the rule change to send the NJSIAA a letter “vetoing” the policy. If at the end of the six months (Jan. 1, 2018) a majority of the membership vetoes the change, the rule would be removed.

As for challenging the rule, Busichio says he is unlikely to do this, "because he understands what the state is trying to accomplish."

The second reading of the proposed rule change is scheduled for February 8 at the NJSIAA headquarters in Robbinsville.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

A Tale of Two Very Different Town Administrator Searches

Both Maplewood and South Orange are looking for new town administrators at the same time, a rare occurrence.

And their approaches couldn’t be any more different.

Maplewood, whose long-time administrator Joseph Manning is retiring May 31, launched its search last month the old-fashioned way: hiring a recruiting firm and letting them do the heavy lifting (or more appropriately the ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Teens Arrested for Theft from Auto

February 20, 2018

February 12 - Theft; A resident from Burroughs Way reported that sometime over the past day, a snow blower was stolen from an open garage.

February 17- Theft from Auto; At approximately 5:15 p.m., two males were observed going through vehicles on Hillcrest Rd.  Officers responded to the area and were able to locate two males fitting the description. The males, 18 year ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested for Robbery in South Orange

Adult Arrest - Robbery - Shawn Ray Newsome, a 20 year old Newark resident and a 17 year old juvenile were arrested on Saturday, Feb. 3, at approximately 10:45 p.m. for robbery. Two male victims reported that as they were walking on South Orange Ave near the Newark border, they were approached by three actors (described as black males wearing dark clothing and black masks) who ...

Blood Drives in SOMA: Maplewood on Feb. 22 and South Orange on Feb. 26

February 19, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Due to winter storms and flu disrupting blood donations, the Red Cross is urging donors to donate and help maintain blood supply, according to a press release from the organization.

In January, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, ...

Maplewood Seniors Enjoy a Visit from Alfalfa the Alpaca on Valentine's Day

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - If you were at the Maplewood Senior Center on Wednesday - which happened to be Valentine's Day - you would have seen the somewhat unusual sight of an alpaca. Alfalfa the Alpaca to be precise.

 

The visit from Alfalfa was the first in the "creature comfort" series from the Maplewood Recreation Department.

 

Maplewood Recreation Director Melissa ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

St. Andrew & Holy Communion Parish Hall, South Orange

Lenten Friday Fish Fry Dinners

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_337d02082fcbf48f3beb_mms_presents_r_h_cinderella

Fri, February 23, 7:30 PM

Maplewood Middle School Auditorium, Maplewood

Maplewood Middle School Presents Rogers & ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Indictment Handed Down in Millburn Carjacking

February 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – An indictment was handed down in the November carjacking in Millburn where a 13-year old girl was allegedly grabbed by the neck and the suspect threatened to kill her. 

The 11-count state grand jury indictment charges Ahmed Anthony, 30, of Newark with conspiracy, carjacking, robbery and making terroristic threats among other charges. The conspiracy in the first-degree ...

Illegal South Ward Rooming House Closed for Life-Threatening Conditions, 12 Relocated

Newark, NJ—An illegal rooming house in Newark's South Ward has been shuttered and 12 people relocated after Newark fire inspectors discovered life-threatening conditions inside the property on Friday.

Newark Fire Inspectors responded after citizen complaints to a one-family house at 46-48 Van Ness Place and found “deplorable conditions” inside the ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Police: 15-Year-Old Westfield Boy Arrested in Strong Arm Robbery, Car Theft

WESTFIELD, NJ — A 15-year-old Westfield boy has been charged in the assault and robbery of another teen and, separately, car theft, according to Westfield police.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was first arrested Jan. 9, along with a 16-year-old boy from Newark, when the two were caught by police Newark with a stolen Dodge Charger from ...

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate in Maplewood on Feb. 27

February 21, 2018

Join Tullamore Dew and St. James's Gate for a 5 course whiskey dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

5 courses with 5 whiskies.

The menu is as follows:

Sea Urchin 2 ways
Scallop crudo in shell
Whiskey injected oysters
Squid ink gnocchi, head on prawn and kobe beef
Whiskey creme Anglaise filled chocolate dipped ricotta doughnut

Call 973-378-2222 to reserve your ...

SOMA Film Festival to Host World and US Premieres

For the first time in it's three year history, SOMA Film Festival will be offering films that will be seen for the first time ever in America, and the world. 

The first of the two world premieres is the profound Fatherhood, a documentary feature about young people from Memphis, LA, New York and London that speak the truth about their absent fathers and perform music videos of original ...

Atlantic Health System Earns Spot for 10th Year on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ List

Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, today celebrated a decade of excellence after it was recognized among Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” ranking number 74 in its 10th consecutive year on the prestigious annual list.

It is the only health care delivery system from New Jersey, and the top-ranked New Jersey based company on the ...