Pasco School Board to rewrite athletic eligibility rules
Along with ending its athletics transfer review committee, the Pasco County school district is rewriting its student-athlete eligibility rules in light of newly adopted state law that makes it easier for teens to move and still play their sports.
The administration is asking the School Board to approve new language to the Code of Conduct reflecting the more laissez faire approach, which some critics have likened to free agency. If approved, the board would set new definitions for eligibility. The proposal reads:
"Eligible to participate" is defined as including participation in tryouts, off-season conditioning and workouts, in-season practices, and contests. It does not mean the student must be placed on a team. High school students will be "immediately eligible to participate" when first enrolling in school or transferring schools, with certain limiting conditions.
Even mid-season transfers would be able to play, so long as there's space on the team and the coach deems them skilled enough.
A few restrictions would still apply. A student would not be allowed to participate in the same sport at two schools in the same year, unless they meet one of four exceptions.
And if anyone alleges a recruiting violation, they'd have to prove it before the student-athlete or a team is affected. The proposed language states:
A student's eligibility to participate in any interscholastic extracurricular activity may not be affected by any alleged recruiting violation until final disposition of the allegation, pursuant to [Florida Statute].
The board will review these recommendations on Tuesday, with the goal of having them in place for the next school year. District officials have said they will remain vigilant to ensure that transfers are appropriately handled.