Emily Tropp reports that the IHSA has ruled that Marcus Posley cannot play basketball for Auburn.
That’s less of a surprise than gambling going on in the back room of Rick’s Cafe Americain in “Casablanca”. Twenty or thirty years ago athletes could move in with a relative so they could play sports at another school, but no more. Not even close. Last year, the IHSA banned an 18-year-old Polo dad from playing baseball until overturning the decision on appeal more than halfway through the season, and that was a player who wasn’t a star pitcher, wasn’t joining a winning team and had moved 2,000 miles to be close to his infant daughter. His move had nothing to do with sports, yet the IHSA said he belonged with his parents, not his grandfather, if he wanted to play sports. If Posley wants to play basketball this year, I can’t see how anyone in his family would have allowed him to enroll at Auburn.
And the IHSA is correct here: Posley’s parents still live in Winnebago and his brother still goes to school in Winnebago. There doesn’t seem to be a good reason for Posley to be going to school at Auburn except to play for one of the state’s best basketball teams, and that’s a reason that does not — and should not — fly with the IHSA.
But an IHSA official said in Emily Tropp’s story that athletes who then return to their original school after not being able to play at the school they tried to move to are usually granted eligibility again. Why?
If the IHSA does not allow players to switch schools for athletic reasons only, then why are they allowed to go back for athletic reasons only? If Posley goes back to Winnebago now, basketball would apparently be the reason why. And I thought that reason doesn’t fly with the IHSA.
If you want athletes to stop transferring in the hope of playing for a better team, don’t let them have a safety net when that transparent ploy doesn’t work.