2005-04-01 / Sports

NYC Department Of Education Revises Athletic Transfer Rules

By Elio Velez

After a few years of pressure from high school coaches and administrators, the New York City Department of Education and the Public School Athletic League announced that they would revise the rules concerning eligibility for student-athletes.

One year of eligibility will be taken away from the student-athlete if he or she transfers from one public high school to another. The rule, which will take effect this fall, will also punish any team who uses an ineligible athlete in any sport.

With the enactment by Congress of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2003, certain students quickly took advantage to leave for teams with the chance to win more games. The notable transfers of Lincoln High School’s basketball stars Eugene Lawrence and Kevin White were certainly the impetus to enact the new rules. Lawrence, who was a star point guard at Canarsie High School in 2003, left before the start of his senior year to join Lincoln.

Originally citing his transfer as a safety issue, he went on to team with Sebastian Telfair to help the Railsplitters win their third straight PSAL basketball championship in March of 2004.

After the season, Lawrence received a scholarship to play at St. John’s University, According to published reports, he never filed a formal complaint or incident report at Canarsie.

The nomadic movement by Kevin White throughout the Department of Education irked the PSAL this past season after he departed from Grady High School to Lincoln.

White initially enrolled at Springfield Gardens last September, moved on to August Martin before finally winding up at the Brooklyn school in November.

If a student wanted to transfer, the family would have to provide legal documents of a change residence for the rule to not be enforced. The rules will not affect those who transfer from catholic schools to public schools.

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