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Ventura County Star (California)
The Moorpark High football team has zero transfers on its varsity squad this season, which might be one reason the school issued a strong response to a recent CIF-Southern Section survey request.
"Our first choice is that transfers sit out one year," said athletic director Rob Dearborn. "Our second choice is that the sit-out period occurs at the end of the season."
Ventura High's best wishes are not quite as stringent.
"We prefer the first-time freshman transfer option," said athletic director Dave Hess. "We don't think its unreasonable to think that a freshman enrolls at a school, then for whatever reason, thinks it's best for him or her to go elsewhere."
The CIF-Southern Section, at the behest of Commissioner Rob Wigod, sent out a survey to its entire membership on Aug. 1 requesting input regarding its current transfer rules and regulations. The purpose? To see whether change is desired by the majority of schools.
The response was indeed overwhelming. Of the sections' 570 schools, 544 completed the survey and 71 percent said, yes, change is needed.
The CIF-SS does not wield the legal clout to unilaterally impose change. But if its membership decisively prefers change, then, yep, change is likely coming.
"What we know about Rob Wigod is that things happen once he starts the process," said Hess. "He's not going to send out a survey and sit on it. He doesn't have the power to change things on his own, but action will happen. Committees will have discussions, and proposals will follow."
Hess, in fact, is a member of the CIF-SS's Public/Private Committee.
"We're going to meet at the end of the month and I guarantee this subject is going to come up," he said.
Dearborn, too, thinks change is inevitable.
"This is a good thing," he said. "We're starting to talk about it."
Wigod, in his own statement, said the next step will be to involve the CIF-State office.
"This feedback is very helpful in allowing us to see how our membership truly feels about such an important part of what we do," he said.
"The next step will be for me to take this information to this week's CIF Section Commissioner's meeting in Sacramento."
In the survey to Southern Section membership, two favorites for transfer revisions emerged.
Like Ventura's first choice, 46.2 percent of the schools favor the first-time freshman transfer option.
What this entails is that freshman student-athletes will be guaranteed Unlimited Eligibility at their next school provided they complete their transfer and enrollment before the first day of their sophomore year.
By a 40.8 percent tally, members prefer Limited Eligibility option, or the choice favored by Moorpark.
In lieu of a valid change of residence or approved Hardship Waiver, student-athletes electing to transfer would have Limited Eligibility in all sports played at their former school for one calendar year, or 12 months.
Limited Eligibility mostly restricts transfers to playing on JV teams for one year.
Their was a third option chosen by 18.4 percent of membership.
This would move the Sit Out Period (SOP) to the last half of their sport's regular season. Currently, the SOP is invoked for the first half of the regular season.
Dearborn said change to transfer rules is needed, and apparently most schools agree.
"It's getting out of hand across the board," he said.
Change of another kind is occurring most dramatically in the Pacific View and Citrus Coast leagues, where the newest Northern Area releaguing plans have created circuits that are either completely new, or just feel that way.
The Pacific View League has added Ventura and Buena for the first time.
Longtime Ventura girls volleyball coach Debbie Litten saw her team's league opener on Sept. 6 vs. Channel Islands already produce a milestone.
"I've been coaching at the school for 25 years and we had never played Channel Islands in all those years," she said. "It was fun. I think both schools really enjoyed it." The new-look Tri-Valley League includes Foothill Tech, La Reina, Grace Brethren, St. Bonaventure and Laguna Blanca. It produced its own history Tuesday night, when Foothill Tech ended La Reina's 48-match winning streak in league.
Loren Ledin is the Prep Editor for The Star. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or by calling 805-437-0285.
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