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:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested and Charged with DWI

May 24, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 24

Theft of Bicycle - A South Orange resident reported that sometime between 5:45 a.m. and 1:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, actor(s) unknown stole his black & white Gary Fisher mountain bike, which had been locked and secured to the bicycle rack under the main train station.

Commercial Burglaries - Two adjacent West South Orange ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.

 

May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

Maplewood and South Orange Events for Memorial Day Weekend - and What's Closed

May 24, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There is a lot going on in the two towns this Memorial Day weekend, as well as some closures on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

SATURDAY, MAY 26

The Maplewood Community Pool opens at noon for the 2018 season. (The South Orange Community Pool is opening June 2, details here.)

Downtown After Sundown presents "Jazz on ...

Maplewood Community Pool Scheduled to Open on Saturday, May 26

MAPLEWOOD, NJ -- The Maplewood Community Pool is scheduled to open this Saturday, May 26, and be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Memorial Day) from noon to 6 p.m., according to an update from the Maplewood Recreation Department.

For those who wish to join the pool, registration can be done in person at the Recreation Department (574 Valley St.) on weekdays from 9 a.m. to ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, May 24, 6:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Steve Sandberg and Zach Brock to Perform at ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, May 25, 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, May 25, 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

Sun, May 27, 11:00 AM

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Memorial Day Colloquy: What We Honor and How We ...

Other

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates SOFIA Honors Local Leaders During Annual Gala

May 24, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - More than 200 supporters gathered at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange on Sunday to celebrate 9 years since the founding of S.O.F.I.A (Start out Fresh Intervention Advocates).

Founder Cynthia Walker and the gala committee of Chaz Moore, Kelly Moore, Lisa Boyd and Ida Walker pulled out all stops incorporating the color of purple throughout the venue for ...

Millburn Parents and Students Come Out to Board of Education Meeting to Push for Teacher Contract Resolution

MILLBURN, NJ -- Millburn school district parents and student representatives urged the Board of Education on Monday to quickly settle ongoing contract negotiations with the Millburn Education Association.

The prolonged deadlock between the board and the teachers’ union has lasted nearly a year has been bad for teacher morale and was beginning to take a toll on students, particularly at ...

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 24, 2018

TINTON FALLS, NJ – A.J. Perri is back helping veterans in need – this time launching a search for veterans and their families through a partnership with ABC-TV.

As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Rocky Marciano, Jr. Unveils Rocky Marciano Wine at Par 440 on May 31

May 24, 2018

A Champion’s Commitment. The Taste of Excellence.

The wine will be unveiled at an invitation only event at PAR 440 Restaurant and Lounge in Short Hills, NJ, attended by Rocky Marciano, Jr.   

PAR 440 is the perfect venue for hosting the unveiling of the wine. The restaurant built by Mario LaVecchia, is decidedly modern with old school charm, and features amazing ...

Township of Maplewood: Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss Proposals for Pedestrian Safety Improvements and Traffic Flow Changes

A public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, in the Great Hall, to present and discuss proposals for pedestrian safety improvements and traffic flow changes, including making Maplewood Avenue one-way from Baker Street to Lenox Place and reversing the direction of the NJT lot. Your presence is encouraged to apprise you of ...

Porchlight Post - Shedding Light On These Old Homes

You bought a new house (congratulations!) and its your first night in the new house. You get cozy and settle in for the night. Your husband wakes up early for work and then so do the kids. Its 5:30 a.m., and your hardwood floors creak so loudly it sounds like someone was trying to break-in. How did you not notice this before you moved in?

Or maybe you’ve been in your house for years and ...