That’s the theme from NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire, who talked with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko in a wide-ranging interview Wednesday morning.
The two big changes are this: all student-athletes will be allowed to transfer at least once in their high school careers without penalty – having to sit out a portion of the season – regardless of whether or not they have moved, and that recruiting a student-athlete before high school is now permitted, though it will continue to be banned once a student-athlete enters high school.
That’s defined as either the first day of classes or the first day they attend practice in the fall sports season, whichever comes first.
But Maguire says with no more requirement of a student-athlete to have a bona fide change of address for a penalty-free transfer, the NJSIAA will put more emphasis on policing recruitment.
Anecdotally, it happens all the time, whether public schools or private, at all grades in high school, all sports. But few cases ever get to the point where penalties handed down..
The most recent high profile case happened this fall when Paramus Catholic was found guilty of illegal recruiting in football after allegations were leveled by Belleville High School. The Paladins were ruled ineligible for the postseason and placed on two years’ probation, but on appeal by Belleville, head coach Greg Russo and assistant coach Christian Maldonado were suspended for the remainder of the probation period.
NJSIAA rules adopted Monday also strike language from its bylaws allowing penalties against student-athletes who transfer as a result of recruiting violations.
Click below to hear the full interview as NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire talks to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the new recruiting and transfer rules: