October 19, 2016
The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s executive board placed the football programs of Notre Dame and Joy Christian on probation Monday for violating three different bylaws.
In September, the AIA’s board informed Notre Dame that its summer football class violated the AIA’s out of season rule, and that it also potentially violated the recruitment rule when its head coach send a flyer to prospective student-athletes. In the past month, Notre Dame informed the AIA that it cancelled its summer football class and its coach “inadvertently” sent the flyer.
But the school’s corrective actions were insufficient hence the probation for the violations, said Dr. Harold Slemmer, the AIA’s executive director. Notre Dame violated two bylaws but will only be on probation for one year.
Notre Dame's one-year probation period began Monday, eliminating the 6-2 team from participating in this year’s playoffs.
Dr. Slemmer announced Monday that Notre Dame might have also committed a third violation, but the board wants more information from Notre Dame regarding that potential violation. Joy Christian was placed on probation because it cancelled its game against Phoenix Christian without approval from the AIA’s executive board.
Joy Christian refused to play Phoenix Christian, where 30 former Joy Christian players transferred to, because Joy Christian’s parents believed that Phoenix Christian would “retaliate" against their kids.
If they chose to, Notre Dame and Joy Christian can appeal Monday's rulings within 10 days. Notre Dame was in first place in its section, but the automatic section playoff berth will be awarded to another team in that section.
Besides being ineligible for the playoffs, a school/program that is placed on probation also will not receive any award of achievement and is not eligible for the Overall Excellence Award.
Executive director report
During Dr. Slemmer’s report, board members discussed the overlap and time issues the 2A and 3A Conferences experience during their state football championship games.
The championship games are regularly held at the same site, with the 2A game starting in the early afternoon. The start time of each championship game and playing the games on a Saturday instead of a Friday were the biggest concerns from the 2A and 3A representatives.
Dr. Slemmer said that it’s more cost effective to hold the games at the same site, and playing the games on a Saturday keeps the students from missing school.
Dr. Slemmer also said that the National Federation of State High School Associations initiated a campaign, #MyReasonWhy, to get more kids involved in high school athletics and activities. For more information on the program, go here: http://nfhs.org/myreasonwhy
New scoring app
Members of scorebird.com attended Monday’s meeting to give a presentation on the new technology the AIA will use to report high school scores in real time.
Instead of having to login and report a score to azpreps365.com, AIA administrators and scoreboard operators in the future will use an app and a scoreboard box, which scorebird.com will provide for free to each school, to post scores throughout a game. The new technology will launch Nov. 4 during the football playoffs.
About 200 schools in Tennessee and Alabama are currently using the scorebird.com scoring app.
Committee to look at cancellation problem
Monthly cancellation of games and programs continue to create scheduling problems.
To address the issue, the board approved a motion by the AIA to form a committee. The goal of the committee, with members representing each of the six conferences, will be to recommend how to solve the cancellation problem and sanction schools that continue to cancel games/programs.
The AIA hosted this year’s Section 7/8 conference in Phoenix in September. State association members who represent the nine states in Section 7 and 8 attended the conference, including AIA executive board president Dr. Anna Battle.
“It was well done,” said Dr. Battle about the conference. “It was the best one I’ve attended so far.”
--Sister Lyn Winsor, the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association rep on the board, expressed her concern over administrators being able to attend both the AIAAAA annual conference in Prescott and the national athletic administrators conference next year in Phoenix. It costs the schools more than $200 to have their athletic directors attend each of the conferences.
Despite the cost concerns, Sister Lyn said that the AIAAAA conference will go on as planned. Next year will be the first time that Arizona will host the national conference for high school sports administrators.
--Herman House, the 6A Conference board member rep, recounted a unique eligibility case his district recently encountered. A student-athlete transferred to Pueblo High but was originally ruled ineligible for the entire season because of the prior contact bylaw.
But after further review, the ethnic balance bylaw also applied to this transfer case. Under that bylaw, if a student transfers under an approved compliance plan such as a desegregation order, which Tucson Unified is under, then the ineligibility of a student can be waived.
The student who transferred to Pueblo did so by following the procedures of a racially concentrated school, House said. House’s district ultimately reached a compromise with the student, who had to sit 50 percent of the season the student is participating in.
A proposal from the 3A Conference to increase its number of boys and girls basketball playoff participants from 16 to 24 teams passed unanimously.
The high seeds and neutral sites will host first and second round games, respectively.
The board also approved the following agenda items Monday:
The game/program cancellation requests from 20 schools, including Desert Mountain's freshman season.
The hardship eligibility appeals of Desert Mountain and North Canyon.
The additional game requests from 11 schools.
The verification of faculty from Rancho Solano, Immaculate Heart, Rock Pointe, and Greyhills Academy. (Private, parochial, BIA, college prep and/or special function school have to file verification of faculty requests.)
The members of the 4A Sports Advisory and 5A Girls Equity Committees were also approved.
Greenway coach Mike Mason's request to replace a complimentary pass.
Baboquivari was fined $1,500 for canceling a football game against Ray and not notifying Ray. Ray will receive the $1,500. Baboquivari can appeal the fine.
Twelve schools, including Joy Christian and Notre Dame football, self reported violations.
A school can receive an advisement, a warning or probation for the violation it reported. A warning is a word of caution.
An advisement might lead to probation if another violation of any rule or regulation is committed. A school will not be eligible for the Overall Excellence Award during a warning period.
This month’s violations:
Warning for Mountain Pointe football. Two players participated in a freshman football practice without having the proper paperwork filed.
Advisement for Wickenburg football. The athletic director allowed the head coach to play a modified 40-play scrimmage with officials.
Advisement for Cibola girls volleyball. Two players participated in three junior varsity and four varsity sets on Sept. 22.
Advisement for Apache Junction spiritline. The head coach allowed incoming 9th grade students to participate in tryouts before the season's state date.
Advisement for Gila Ridge spiritline program. The program took uniform measurements of two freshman students prior to tryouts.
Advisement for Ironwood Ridge swim. The new head coach didn't follow the AIA's interpretation of the new 50 percent transfer bylaw.
Advisement for the Lee Williams cross country. A 520 form wasn't completed for a student who competed but score wasn't reported.
Warning for Tolleson's athletic program for two violations. On Sept. 8 the school discovered that a current student was enrolled as a 9th grader at Betty Fairfax. Also, Tolleson's new athletic director was unaware that a student enrolled at La Joya, which doesn't offer swim, competed for Tolleson last season.
Advisement for Kofa activities program. The school violated the enrollment bylaw when it allowed a home schooled student to play freshman basketball last year.
Warning for Mesquite cross country. A student practiced for three days without the district clearing the student.
Warning for North swim. A student enrolled at Betty Fairfax competed for North High.