Fluid transfers make championship teams, PERIOD. If you are a neighborhood team, head coach or athletic director you should be pounding your fist on the table at the next CHSAA meeting. For nearly 2 decades teams have been using fluid transfers to build or stack teams. Thus creating inequities for those with a conscious that do the right thing year in and year out. In the past half decade it has become worse statewide as many teams are responding to one’s surroundings of recruiting little league teams by adding coaches to their teams or booster clubs. So the pressure is immense for parents wanting to do the correct thing as an incoming freshmen to high schools. Some even pay to play by providing new swag or sets of uniforms to guarantee a starting spot without earning the job. So when certain conditions are fulfilled the gold star is awarded or what we call the entitlement starting position.
Often parents seek advice on where to attend high school as everyone nowadays thinks they are D1 prior to participating in one single event in HS. Yes as young as 3rd grade the flyers for tournaments, showcases and recruiting websites proliferate many individuals inboxes and residential snail mail addresses. One you are on a list it becomes a marketing game of whom is perceived to be the best. As if that is not enough the offers for trainers to get bigger, better and faster will arrive to the point some will be arrogant and say, “You need me more than I need you!” This exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities is what gets most naive people in trouble. There is no superior being that can predict an athletes future and promise D1. If they do, run and run far away, PERIOD! Also hold onto your wallet while running as many are trying to bilk hundreds of people each year and tout their past success but never their failures. Whether it is a pay to play event or a gym trying to gain more paid memberships just remember, if you have skills or talents college coaches will find you. Also be aware that many aggressive or bold mannered individuals will pepper their client roster to include fast 40 yard dash athletes or the 6’4″ big guys because most coaches recruit players North of 6’3″. Meanwhile all the parents are at a loss because they buy into hype rather than focusing on having four years of fun in HS or getting high academic marks in the classroom. Yes those large ACT and SAT college board exams in addition to GPAs actually get you more looks when applying to college.
If a parent spent as much money a year on tutors or college board exam testing as they did on training that $6K would benefit them more. Especially since the high school coaches offer the same weight training and speed and agility drills for free. Many schools even offer PE for credits and those are FREE!
So when you look at the scores on game day and the rosters, just imagine if some of those players stayed in their attendance area how much better the neighborhood team might be. Yes it is no secret that players and parents jersey chase to be on a state title potential winning team. However, there are many active coaches at schools that promise and do not deliver. Therefore the current transfer rule of sitting 365 days from date of transfer is being tested. As of June 1, 2018 the new rule has been set forth but some of the loopholes have not been closed. Yes Fluid transfers make championship teams because we allow it to happen and do not enforce it or speak up about it. So the next time your little coach calls you to transfer, ask yourself, why? Most likely his kid needs to be the star or he is active in trying to stack a team for personal benefits.
In the end it is a lot easier to manage a team of talented players and win games or promise championships. However, the real coaches take pride in developing organic players that truly live in the attendance area. Remember the best times are making memories in high school and hanging out with classmates and teammates. So riding the bus or carpooling or even driving back and forth at great lengths is no fun for kids. Being able to ride a bike or walk to school is part of creating memories that will last a lifetime. Also an education will last beyond athletics. Just remember if you are being asked to transfer are you the only one? It is a numbers game and the last thing you want to do is be on a team that has more players than spots to earn or even compete with a parent with a thicker wallet. The neighborhood team always has opportunities if you prove yourself. In 2018 several new hired coaches will experience success as they change the culture but the impact of “Fluid transfers” will still be felt as many filed paperwork prior to the May 31st deadline.
Again it is your choice where to attend high school but if your goal is college than plan accordingly. The $6,000 or more a year for training or $14K or more for tuition is monies that could be put to better use or in a college fund. Many D2 schools are $18K a year,
One final thought. If CHSAA and the football committee really cared about their future growth in a declining sport like football they would seed playoffs based on competition. The specific function would be to give the have nots a better match up and opportunity to win like matched teams. Now with RPI it is evident teams stack heavy weight opponents and lesser talented rather winning teams suffer in spread sheet football. Look at the 2015 season and it proves the point. Had some matchups been manipulated for value there may have been a few teams that were not recruited teams that may have managed to gain a final 4 berth. Its just a game but lets curb the non sense and make high school sports more fun and not about monetizing it for personal gains or disrupting neighborhoods. Otherwise the numbers will decline and the competitive teams will go club or to open leagues and thats not a recipe for success rather growth from failing to enforce rules and competitive competition.