Wisconsin ADs Concerned About Policing Transfers

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Among the amendments up for vote by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association membership at the WIAA's annual meeting last week one involving an athlete’s eligibility upon transferring to another school, should they have a pre-existing athletics relationship with anyone at the school into which the student is transferring.

According to the Herald Times Reporter in Manitowoc, the proposal was defeated by a vote of 239-150, and Fond du Lac athletic director Dave Michalkiewicz thinks it didn't pass due to one major concern among ADs. "What classifies as a pre-existing relationship?" Michalkiewicz asked. "We're not the police or private investigators."

Dave Steavpack, a member of the WIAA Board of Control that voted unanimously to move the proposal to a full membership vote, understands why athletic directors would be cautious. "Athletic directors are concerned about not knowing the previous relationships and the time it'd take to find out," Steavpack, that athletic director at Manitowoc Lincoln High School told the Herald Times Reporter, adding that it might not be as big of a problem as some think.

"If I don't know about something, I'll know about it within two weeks from social media or another school reaching out. All lines of communication need to remain open," Steavpack said. "It wouldn't be more work, just part of the process of transfers coming into your district."

Even those who opposed the amendment in its current form feel something should be done.

"I think there needs to be some teeth to our rules to prevent families from making decisions once they're in high school based solely on athletics," said Ashwaubenon AD Nick Senger. "Once they're here, I don't think it’s fair for people to leave because they don’t like a coach or program."

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