PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Changes are coming for high school sports after complaints that non-public school teams have an unfair advantage over public ones.
You’d like to think great teamwork is all it takes to win. But a couple of outstanding players can make a difference, which is why public school coaches think it’s unfair that, up until now, private, Catholic and charter schools could recruit.
At a hearing last month, even the head of the PIAA acknowledged it’s a problem.
“The recruiting of student athletes results in them having a higher percentage of success in basketball, and after graduation, many of these students admit they transferred to play sports,” said Dr. Robert Lombardi, the executive director of the PIAA.
Under new rules approved by the PIAA, beginning in August, student athletes who transfer schools their freshman year or later can play, but they’ll have to sit out the next year’s playoffs. Unless they can prove a hardship, like a family job transfer.
That doesn’t include things like transfers for academic, developmental, spiritual or social reasons, or a change of residence because of a family separation, unless it’s court-approved.
Pam Surano’s Report:
One PIAA governor said families might now think twice if they’re not sure they can transfer without consequences.
The other big change: the way football and basketball teams are classified.
Right now, there’s “1A” or “2A,” based on size of enrollment. Under the new rules, schools will be classified by a formula that also takes into account transfers and playoff success.
And this isn’t over.
Superintendents from around the state will meet Tuesday in state college for a so-called “equity summit” to talk about separate playoffs, one for public schools, and one for everyone else.
They’ll also discuss getting rid of the PIAA as the governing body for high school sports.