On Tuesday, Prep Rally wrote about the stunning decision by powerful California school Van Nuys (Calif.) Montclair Prep to immediately eliminate its entire athletic department. Now the student athletes and coaches of that once proud program could find themselves in a tricky situation as they essentially race one another to find new homes at other Southern California schools.
While the California Interscholastic Federation has already granted hardship waivers to all athletes who were a part of the Montclair Prep program, additional CIF regulations are still complicating their potential transfers to new schools.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the most significant of those issues affects whether Montclair Prep students could compete for schools where their former coaches at Montclair Prep take new coaching positions themselves.
Here's how the Times' Eric Sondheimer explained the regulation in question:
Players are not allowed to follow their former coach to a new school. If it happens in the first 24 months following that coach's move, the player would be ineligible to participate at the new school.
As one can see, there's little room for interpretation in that rule: If a coach moves from Montclair Prep to another school and then a former Montclair Prep player decides to attend that school, the athlete in question would not be allowed to compete for his new school.
However, if the student athlete was the first person to make the move to the new school, then he or she could compete in his chosen sport even if his former Montclair Prep coach arrived to take the reins of the new program.
That exact scenario now has both players and coaches scrambling to try and find new homes as soon as possible so they can avoid limiting their options. It's just another unique and stressful complication from a truly shocking closure of a once proud program, and may still generate challenges for the CIF South Section depending on how all the coaching and student changes play out.