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The freshman son of longtime Jesuit swim coach Bill Shaffer, initially ruled ineligible for the 2012 season by the Florida High School Athletic Association, has won his appeal with the prep sports governing body.
Bill Shaffer said his 15-year-old son, Tommy, would swim in Thursday night's meet against Bloomingdale at the Academy of the Holy Names after sitting out the season's first two meets.
"Just a sigh of relief," Bill Shaffer said Thursday afternoon. "Seeing the stress strain away from my wife and my son wasn't worth waiting for the decision."
Bill Shaffer said the FHSAA's Section 3 appeals committee ruled 6-0 in Tommy's favor during its hearing Thursday in Bradenton. Initially, Tommy was sidelined for a violation of FHSAA Bylaw 9.2.4, which essentially forbids students from swimming for a club program representing a school for which they're not geographically zoned in the offseason, then moving to that school.
The Shaffers are zoned for Plant High. Tommy, an honors student, swam for his dad's club -- the Academy Aquatic Club -- before choosing to enroll at Jesuit. FHSAA spokesman Corey Sobers said in August that consideration is given in circumstances such as the Shaffers' through due process.