CORRECTION: Superintendent is not directly involved in MHSAA transfers

In a story in the Nov. 12, 2013, issue of the Pioneer, the role a superintendent plays in a student-athlete transfer was incorrectly described.

The piece, titled “Parents claim daughter’s athletic suspension is discrimination,” incorrectly said that Big Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Tim Haist plays a role in working with the Michigan High School Athletic Association on student-athlete transfers.

That is not the case.

When documenting a student-athlete transfer, it is up to the school to decide which staff members handle the issue, said John Johnson, communications director for the MHSAA. Typically, it will be the school principal, athletic director or other staff member.

While Johnson could not speak to the specific situation involving a student who transferred from BRPS to Morley Stanwood Community Schools, as discussed at a BRPS board meeting on Monday, he explained the process that would result in a student being sidelined from sports for 180 days.

Typically, students are ineligible from sports for 90 school days after a transfer, and there are specific exceptions that can allow for immediate eligibility, Johnson said. A 180-day athletic suspension is the result of the MHSAA finding sufficient evidence that the transfer was “athletically motivated,” he added.

“If a student transfers from one school district to another, they would be ineligible for one semester,” Johnson explained. “But the school that’s losing the student says ‘We think they’re moving for athletic reasons.’ Then we ask both schools to document the transfer, and then we have to make a decision. The school that the child left would have to say ‘The student left for athletic reasons and we can document it.’ And then the other school could reply.”

The MHSAA representative council, made up of 19 superintendents, athletic directors and principals from high schools across the state, makes a ruling on whether the transfer is mainly related to athletics. In the case of the local student who transferred to MSCS, the MHSAA found sufficient evidence to rule her ineligible for 180 days.

“Sometimes the documentation is compelling enough to say ‘Yes, this was an athletically-motivated transfer,’ and sometimes it’s not,” Johnson said.

The Pioneer apologizes for the error.

3 comments on “CORRECTION: Superintendent is not directly involved in MHSAA transfers

  1. avatarshannan0428

    Our questions arise well before the MHSAA ever heard of the name Shannan Thompson. Our questions remain unanswered. Why in the history of BR was Shannan the only transfer that BR staff complained about being athletically motivated, when we stated from the beginning this was not the case. Was it the fact that BR staff made it 100% athletically motivated? Why do two transfer students look like carbon copy transfers but only one was complained about?? We gave facts on how similar the cases are and the only response we get is that they are different. Give us facts on how they are different to help us see how this can be anything but unfair treatment??

  2. avatarshannan0428

    Thank you to those who are not political!!

    masterl November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    No school in all of the conference has ever complained to the MHSAA about a student. The MHSAA is very one sided, they strongly hold the school and what they say above anything a parent says. So basically the school can take things out of context, make it look like it was athletically driven and the student sits. Schools usually have more class than this. I can’t believe how BRHS said whatever they needed in order to hurt the #1 ranked academic student. Yet the third ranked baseball player went to a top baseball school and that was not athletically driven??? SHAME ON YOU BRHS!!

  3. avatarshannan0428

    Just wanted to let you know the boy that BR never complained to the MHSAA has now officially committed to U of M for baseball!! This is the same boy in Shannan’s class but she was complained about!! The only difference with Shannan and the boy is that he transferred for athletic reasons!!

    6’3, All stater transfers from Au Gres to John Glenn sits 90 days due to character of her former school for not complaining to the MHSAA, my 5’5, 4.0 GPA girl sits 180 days cuz her previous coach said what she needed to say to keep her out, why people ask, her old coach is that intimidated by her…. Or she just has no character and should not be a coach!!

    A respectable school that does not chose to hurt kids when they want to transfer schools, schools of choice is a right. Oh wait my daughters FORMER school which is BRHS only discriminates on who they complain to the MHSAA on!!

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