California has always had one of the nation's more strict policies regarding potential transfers between member schools of the state's California Interscholastic Federation. In the 2011-12 school year alone, the organization fought back against arguably the nation's top girls basketball player because she was living with the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, not to mention dozens of other high profile and drawn out appeals and counter-appeals.
After significant lobbying, state officials finally opened a debate into whether or not to relax the transfer prohibitions, eventually deciding to allow more transfers to move forward, provided that local commissioners were proactive overseeing any comings and goings between schools that began to appear suspicious.
Now, just weeks after that new accord, one group of schools has already come under intense scrutiny for a rash of transfers heading into the fall football season.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a whopping eight football players from Los Angeles (Calif.) West Adams High have filed paperwork to transfer to Compton (Calif.) Centennial High. The interim coach leading the Centennial program, Russell Shaw, is a former West Adams coach.
When prodded about the unusual number of transfers coming into his school, Shaw insisted that he had no idea any West Adams students besides his son had applied to transfer to Centennial.
Regardless of Adams' apparent lack of knowledge about the players coming in around him, CIF Southern Section officials claim they are already investigating the prospective transfers, with an eye toward disallowing any players that were deemed to be moving for inappropriate reasons.
Whether or not the players are deemed eligible could have a significant impact on the future of both West Adams and Centennial. If all eight move successfully, they could comprise nearly two-thirds of a prospective starting unit. If they are rejected, they may attempt to scamper back to West Adams to continue their young football careers.
Either way, the West Adams-Centennial prospects provide an early insight into how CIF officials are likely to interpret new transfer rules (which don't officially come into effect until July), and whether they really are relaxing the strict transfer regulations which have long characterized the state's athletic federation.