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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wonderful World of AAU??

I don't know the inside story but one wonders if this is another story of the world of AAU basketball. The Davis' transferring to Annawan may be for all sorts of geographic or family reasons, but...

As I read this story from the Argus, I could not help but focus on the part at the end which says, "it will reunite her with her AAU teammates." This seems to be a common place occurence throughout high school athletics. IF indeed that is the case, it is sad.

From the Argus....

One of the top girls' basketball players in the Quad-Cities is on the move.

In the age of social media, news travels fast. So Tuesday morning, when Cierra Davis told her classmates that she, twin sister Dominique and sophomore brother Jalen were no longer going to attend Alleman High School, it became news. Stunning, in fact, to most involved.

Late Tuesday night, the speculation ended.

"I can confirm that we have had the release of records and that they will be starting school here (today),'' said Joe Buresh, Annawan principal and superintendent. "They have established residency in the Annawan School District.''

Depending on interpretation to IHSA bylaws, the move means the basketball seasons for Dominique and Jalen could be over.

However, there are questions about Cierra's availability the rest of this season for the state-ranked Bravettes, ones that Buresh is letting the Illinois High School Association officials figure out.

"I have been in communication with the IHSA twice now,'' said Buresh, who also was in contact with Alleman High School assistant principal Michelle Gau regarding the transfers. "There will be a report, an inquiry, filed (today) and we will be waiting to see how they rule. ... I don't know how soon that ruling will come, but I'm guessing it will be within a week.''

Cierra has not played or practiced with the Pioneers this season after a second ACL knee injury in a year's time.

Section 3.042 of the IHSA bylaws states that "Once classes begin in a school for the current school year, if a student changes attendance from that high school to another high school, the student shall be ineligible for the remainder of the school year in any sport in which he/she participated or was participating in a practice or interscholastic contest in the current school year at the school from which the transfer occurs."

Transfer students, who move from one school to another, are allowed to participate in sports, "Once classes begin in a school for the current school year," after a 30-day period of ineligibility, "commencing on the first day of attendance at thenew high school, in any sport in which he/she was not participating or had not participated during the current school yearat the school from which the student transferred."

Later in a question and answer portion of the bylaws, the IHSA explains the situation this way: "If the family move occurs after the beginning of the school term, and the student has not participated in a sport during that school term prior to the transfer, the student may attend either the public or private school in the school district into which the student and parents have moved, but the student will be ineligible for a period of 30 days. If the student in this situation has participated, by trying out for, practicing or competing as a member of a team in a sport during the school term prior to the transfer, the student will be ineligible for the remainder of the school year in that sport and will be ineligible for a period of 30 days from the date of the transfer in all other sports."

"I want the IHSA to rule on all three of them,'' said Buresh. "I want to be totally legal with anything we do here.''

Cierra and Dominique were both on Alleman's roster and Dominique has played for the Pioneers this season. Jalen was on the boys' sophomore roster.

However, perhaps needing a ruling by the IHSA, is the playing status of Cierra.

Section 3.102 of the IHSA bylaws state that "A student shall be considered to be a member of a school team when he/she engages in any team activity, including but not limited to tryouts, drills, physical practice sessions, team meetings, playing in a contest, etc., on or after the (start of that sport's season).''

Cierra has yet to play, but appears on Alleman's roster and in the Pioneers' team picture on the school's Website.

As a freshman, Cierra made big news by scoring the most points by a freshman in Alleman school history. She was on her way to having one of the top sophomore campaigns as well before an ACL injury ended her season just before regionals. She made first team All-Western Big 6 Conference last year, and leaves the Pioneers with a total of 565 points through two seasons.

In September, Cierra tore her ACL a second time and had surgery the second week of October and according to her mother is ahead of schedule with recovery, including getting a brace for her knee that would allow her to play and practice.

The move to Annawan reunites Cierra with all-staterCelina VanHyfte and fellow Bravette Maddie Jackson, who played together on the same AAU team, the Quad City Attack, coached by Augustana women's coach Mark Beinborn.

The Alleman administration had no comment to The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus regarding the transfer.

-- Staff writers Steve Tappa and Tom Johnston contributed to this report

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