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 ILH transfer rule - time to revisit? 

Do you believe the ILH transfer rule should be eliminated?
Poll ended at Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:32 pm
Yes 25%  25%  [ 2 ]
No 75%  75%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 8

 ILH transfer rule - time to revisit? 
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Post ILH transfer rule - time to revisit?
Dear Paul,

Thank you for the Galdeira article. I hope you will consider helping to further promote discussion of the ILH "transfer rule" as it affects the "normal" athlete.

As you've already referenced the rule itself creates confusion as to what is considered recruiting or not, yet we all know that it is happening. It does not take too much digging to find stories of fabulous scholarship offers to young athletes by an ILH power school.

My major concern is that the rule creates a general injustice for student-athletes who desire to transfer for any number of non-sports reasons. Because high school participation is limited (no redshirt opportunities), the general feeling should be "let the kids play." Instead, the required sitting out for one year even affects students transferring from out-of-state to ILH schools. Yes, there is technically an appeal process in place, but exceptions being granted seem to be an extreme rarity.

Why might a student want to transfer schools? Foremost, they might just fit in better somewhere else. Some like bigger schools, while some like smaller. Perhaps spiritual emphasis is a consideration. How about finances, because there are vast differences in tuition? What about simple geographic reasons, as people do move from town to Mililani or vice versa. We still offer all-boy and all-girl choices too. Certainly, penalizing a student-athlete who has been transferred to Hawaii due to family military reasons seems ludicrous.

Everyone I've talked to on the streets cannot see how the ILH powers continue to maintain this archaic position. We are not living in the era of Punahou raiding Roosevelt's backfield anymore as the main rivalry in town.

Within the ILH there has been a huge increase in smaller schools, and they disproportionately feel the impact of the transfer rule. There are no cuts and try-outs for the small school team. Just a willing, warm body can be the difference between having adequate subs to survive injuries and foul trouble on game day, much less 5 on 5 practice. Now what if WITHIN the ILH the small schools favor eliminating intra-ILH transfer penalties, but the big schools don't? There would definitely be something wrong with this picture. What is really being protected?

The recruiting game has actually gotten quite sophisticated for the big schools. There are a number of "Dennis Agena's" scouting the playgrounds for potential talent. By getting the kids early enough the school can skirt the implications of the transfer rule anyway, and avoid being in the recruiting accusation spotlight. In contrast, the smaller schools have no budget for scholarships much less recruiting scouts.

I feel sorry for OIA coaches and supporters who might lose a star athlete, but the factors may be varied and not just due to an evil ILH power luring these individuals away. The recent transfer of girls basketball star Iwalani Rodrigues from Roosevel to Kalani is a good example. No loss of playing time for Iwalani involved here.

In actuality, the real story here are the innocent victims of the transfer rule who would never have been considered for a scholarship based on their talent. They just want to play.

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Kurt Kamikawa


Last edited by kurt_kamikawa on Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:32 pm
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The MIL has a stupid transfer rule also. If a student athlete transfers to another high school, he or she cannot play any sport for their new school that he or she participated in the prior season at their previous school for the upcoming season. So let's say you played football at Lahainaluna as a sophmore, if you then transferred to Baldwin you would be ineligible your junior season and would have to wait for your senior season to play.

Now what happens to the kid that attends a private school such as St. Anthony or Seabury Hall. Say something happens within their family and they can no longer afford the $15,000 per year at Seabury or the $9,000 per year at St. Anthony. Maybe a parent loses a job or someone gets ill. Why should the student athlete suffer by not being able to participate the upcoming year at their new school?


Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:33 pm
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Post Overall - Rule Is Good
Without the transfer Rule - the schools with the big budget like Punahou, Kamehameha - will be able to recruit kids with no limits and restraints. What discourages this kind of recruiting is the consequence of "missing a year". Obviously if a kid is getting recruited when they are 8th or 9th grade they still have much of their varsity years left so it's not a real biggy.

The rule does hurt some bonafide transfers but overall it serves as a restraint for the big programs and that helps the small programs.

Just a humble opinion.


Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:27 pm
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Certainly there is a fear that the powerhouse schools in the ILH could become like the NY Yankees without the transfer rule. However, if we want to eliminate unfair recruiting, why not implement penalties like making guilty schools subject to forfeiture of games or ineligible for championships? Instead, do we just accept that the level of "undercover" recruiting is tolerable, or if someone REALLY wants to transfer sitting out 1-year is penalty enough to pursue a dream (or even just because tuition got too expensive at St. Louis and a spot opened up at Kamehameha)? Philosophically, it would seem that ILH rules should try to encourage the participation of "no name" athletes rather than consider them collateral damage in the recruiting war game. In the extreme that all the talent ends up at 4 ILH schools, then this will become the size of the ILH. This might become the reality without touching the transfer rule.


Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:14 pm
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Post Who should be penalized?
Is the transfer rule intended to penalize the athlete or the institution? As it stands it seems that innocent student-athletes, who will not be playing at the next level, are the main victims of the transfer rule. To an extent it may be posing some restraint on all-out recruiting, but we admit the recruiting still takes place quite effectively. There is another dynamic, more powerful than recruiting, when a team really commits to each other and the coaches. We saw a good example with the Bulldogs taking the Boys B-Ball title. The only thing that might have diminished from this tremendous win is if one of the key players had transferred from Punahou to Kaimuki with immediately eligibility. Thankfully this was not the case.


Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:21 am
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Kurt, good to see you here. I'm glad you made the trek and have the gumption to share your honest thoughts in public.

My feeling on transfer rules is that every case is individual. Of course, that concept is totally foreign to a bureaucracy ... leagues want blanket rules to avoid being accused of bias, favoritism, etc. even if there was none at all.

Complicated scenario. Requires much discussion, keen insight and open minds. Good place to do this.

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Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:46 pm
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Post I agree Paul
I agree that every case should be look at individually and from what I understand every case is taken individually in the ILH. The problem is you have to have an extenuating circumstance for the AD's to approve it then it has to also be approved by the board of principals.

I'm not to smart to understand the definition of extenuating circumstance (in fact not sure what it really means) accept to know that it does mean that if you don't have a medical or psychological reason or purpose of why you're transfering - you won't get approved and will be penalized the "one year."

It's funny - the ILH does not condone recruiting but it happens and it will continue. I had several friends try to go through the appeal process and was shot down every time. But honestly, the big schools would make a killing in recruiting kids if the rule was not in place. That's why I will support it until recruiting is outlawed in the ILH - but I don't see that happening. "Offering an opportunity for kids to improve themselves" - will always be the statement used by the big school recruiters.

I have a difficult time fighting that thought because I've had relatives that have benifited from attending some of the big private schools and have seen how the change of environment and atmosphere impact their lives in a very positive way. Boy this situation sucks....doens't it?


Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:17 pm
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It does, it’s a confusing mess, when it comes to ILH rules I have double standards going on all over the place.

As far as the transfer rule; my kid wanted to transfer, but abided by the rule and did not turn out instead. The “no quit” rule is just as bad, should be changed too.

How about that no coaching your team in the off season rule, during summer league is ok, starting on a specific date. If I remember correctly.


Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:51 pm
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Perhaps the presumption could be that a student transferring can participate in the sport UNLESS the circumstances point to a recruiting reason. Wouldn't this be more equitable to those who are currently being unfairly penalized, and focus the question of eligibility more squarely on those being recruited?

Certainly, a good athlete being offered a scholarship is an opportunity that should not be denied. What if the ILH establishes a formula for allowable scholarships with penalties to schools found in violation? What if a student only qualifies once for a scholarship at the high school level? If that student is on scholarship and transfers, they forfeit the scholarship. If they are not on scholarship and offered one, they can take advantage of the opportunity.

We all know that sports has become a much bigger industry than when the transfer rule was first developed. We also know that society is much more mobile, choices are much greater and change more constant. Why not have some open study of some adjustment to the rule, particularly since exceptions allowing playing eligibility seem to be rarely granted? (':-?')


Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:45 pm
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[i]What if the ILH establishes a formula for allowable scholarships with penalties to schools found in violation? [/i]


That's what I'm talking about is that many small schools don't even have scholarships and financial aid programs. So an equitable formula would not work.

Anyways, I don't think things will change in the ILH any time soon. The big schools are a minority now in the ILH. I'm told that there are too many small school AD's (not all) in the ILH that feel that their school interest and student athletes are better protected from big school recruiting by having this transfer rule in tact. I would have to say that I agree.

Paul, have you written any articles on this particular subject? I think it would create tremendous responses by the public. Maybe interview families who tried to get an exemption from the transfer rule and was denied by the ILH. I think that would be very interesting and perhaps it could create a healthy debate publicly so this issue can be discussed more in the light than in the closed meetings of the ILH AD's.

Maybe do a story on Kurt Kamikawa to promote his perspective.


Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:09 pm
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wola, this is a good proposition, and I want to approach this topic with both hands free. The timing is both good (soccer and basketball entering full swing) and bad (short on time with volleyball all-state and football state tourney still on). I view this topic as a multi-piece series, no question. To treat it with anything less would be unwise and unsatisfactory.

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Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:43 pm
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What is the problem with recruiting anyhow? No one grumbles about colleges recruiting! So why do we grumble and frown when a high school does it? I mean I just don't understand how there is a double standard. No one bitches that USC or Notre Dame get all the great football players by offering scholarships to them. In fact, we do quite the opposite don't we? We all smile when we hear that some boy from Laie is going to USC on a scholarship and bettering himself. What a bright future this child is going to have! Oh, but when a high school does it we all get bent! Be honest with yourself and think how happy you would be if your son got a full ride to Punahou, and then later a full ride to USC because he was great at football.

I think every person that grumbles about the ILH recruiting is either selfish, jealous, or not being completely honest with themselves. Seriously, who bitches the most when a gifted athlete leaves a public school for an ILH school? The coach, players, and parents of the public school team that just lost their star player, that's who. And that, my friends, is selfish. I always wonder if the people that moan about kids getting "recruited" to ILH teams do so infront of the parents of that child. I doubt they do, because we all know that the ILH schools provide a far superior educational experience than the public school they just left. Be happy for your former teammate and their parents, not jealous.


Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:59 am
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That's a good point. No one complained when Kahuku recruited star players Tevita Finau and Kaniela Tuipulotu from Lahainaluna.


Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:34 am
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There are many ways to look at the transfer rules of each league.

Personally, I don't have a problem with any youngster who wants to attend another school — outside his/her district — if there's a reason as simple as athletics or course selection.

Really, we have a very high percentage of DOE employees sending their children to private schools. With that in mind, restrictions on public-school students almost boil down to a matter of "If I have the money, I can send my kid to the (private) school of my choice. If I don't have the money, we're stuck." Test scores withstanding, of course.

Should freedom of choice be restricted to folks who can afford private-school tuition? Why shouldn't public-school kids and their parents have a choice? Why is it that we have freedom to choose a school at the college level, but not at the high-school level? And if the DOE really means what it says about commitment to our kids, why are most of them sending their kids to ILH schools?

Hypocrisy?

As I've told many coaches and ADs, if a kid is willing to get up at 5 a.m., get on the bus from the Leeward side and travel to, say, attend Kalaheo ... and the kid has a healthy GPA, contributes to the school and is a solid individual, I say more power to 'em.

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Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:18 pm
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I could not agree more. Any child or family should be able to choose any school provided that child can test into it and the school has the room. Hell, if the family is willing to make the drive, then go for it! Don't give me this crap about 'you will drain some of the schools of its best students.' Come up with a better product and the kids will stay. You nor I go to shitty restaurants, why, because the product sucks! No one likes to eat crappy food, and no child should tolerate a crappy education.

A hypocrit is exactly what many of the DOE faculty as well as our State policy makers are IF they say 'oh our schools are great', but then quietly send their children to private schools. Just like the people who whine and complain about private schools recruiting, and then one day find themselves with a talented child and accept an ILH or collegate scholarship.


Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:46 pm
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