SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WALA) – Last week, AHSAA disqualified the boys and girls soccer teams at Spanish Fort High School as they prepared for the playoffs. The decision came after another school questioned the eligibility of one of the men’s team players who moved from another state earlier this year. It’s a decision that is still not up to the parents.
“My daughter was crushed and everything they worked hard for all year was unfairly taken away from them,” said Randy White, who has a daughter on the football team.
It doesn’t sit well with State Senator Chris Elliott either.
“We have eligibility debacles that impact our student-athletes and unfortunately impact other student-athletes who have never had an eligibility issue,” Elliott said.
Now Elliott plans to go through the legislature to make sure such things don’t happen again in the future.
“If we continue to have these issues, then they have a program issue within their association that they need to address,” Elliott added. “They didn’t, and it’s time for the legislature to step in.”
One thing he will look at is the interpretation of the rules. as the good faith transfer rule that led to the disqualification of the Spanish Fort teams. It was centered on one question. If all the main family members lived together. The student in question had not lived with his siblings for two years until he moved to Spanish Fort.
“We understand that this rule has never been applied to siblings,” White said.
“We’re going to have to go into some of the rule-making and figure out whether or not it has to be a public body really instead of a private body,” Elliott said.
The Legislature isn’t expected to reconvene until next year, but the plan is to take the time to explore all options to make things better for student-athletes.
“They’ve lost the public’s trust and we need to find a way to regain it so that our student-athletes feel like they’re being treated fairly,” Elliott added.
“We just want to see reform and we want to see things improve for the future,” White said.
Elliott also mentioned that they may review auditing requirements for AHSAA regarding public funds such as money from ticket sales and fines that are issued. We contacted AHSAA but received no response.
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