CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – After lopsided football scores that saw teams score 70, 80 and sometimes even 90 points, West Virginia’s new transfer rule is causing scrutiny among players, coaches and fans.
Under the new bill passed by the West Virginia Legislature, students receive a one-time transfer while retaining immediate eligibility. Under old WVSSAC rules, players could transfer before their ninth-grade year or appeal their case to the league.
“You’re taking a team that ultimately had three Division 1 college recruits on it and putting it on another team that has seven,” Lincoln County parent Jamie Stratton said. “90 points? I mean, how do you think the other team felt?”
WVSSAC Executive Director David Price says there is evidence multiple teams have violated the league’s recruiting rules, but most have been minor in the forms of communication.
Coaches say transferring has always been a part of the game. Herbert Hoover Head Coach Joey Fields is against the new one-way transfer rule but believes kids should have the ultimate say in where they want to go to school.
“People that don’t like it they feel that kids are jumping from school to school, that’s not the case or they’re loading up on the team,” Fields said. “They’re loading up on the team because that program is doing the right thing, it’s creating value for the kids, opportunities for the kids and just like us adults we want the best job, we want the best homes for ourselves and our families.”
South Charleston Head Coach Dustin Resler says coaches need to establish a strong culture to make sure kids stay.
“The key is to have them buy into the group that you have because if you have buy-in and they feel they’re a part of something special, they don’t want to leave,” Resler said.
Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) and other key lawmakers have spoken out against the new rule. Opponents against the new rule are calling for an interim special session to overturn it.