The UHSAA had two more hearings on Wednesday on hardship waiver appeals, denying both athletes eligitibility for the coming school year.
• Hanani Aiono, a junior football transfer from Highland to Skyline, presented a defense that his family sought a change of scenery for him after family problems and school pressures affected him. Aiono had legal counsel, and also presented a letter from a counselor and brought his best friend, who attends Skyline.
• Treven Aloi, a sophomore football transfer from Cottonwood to Murray, presented a defense that he had been recruited by parents of Cottonwood students to originally come to the school. Also included in his request for a waiver was his brother was unable to drive him to football practices any longer, and since he lived in Murray boundaries, it would be much more convenient to go to his originally districted school.
Just a bit of analysis to tie this up:
The common thread between these two cases is there was no full family move something that all five cases on Tuesday did have. Without a full family move, transfers and their families have to establish hardships that forced them to make a transfer, and the standard for a transfer hardship tends to be high.
Through its decisions, the UHSAA has shown that issues such as not fitting in with classmates or not having the budget for continued commuting doesn't always translate to a "hardship" by its standard.
Even in the case of Aloi, who wanted to move back to his home school where his brothers had attended, a hardship must be proven. Just because it's more convenient doesn't make it legitmate in the eyes of the UHSAA. As far back as Chase Hansen who lived in Lone Peak boundaries when he originally went to American Fork, then moved again within Lone Peak boundaries the full family move has been shown to be the surest way to get a transfer through. Only factors such as not actually moving in to the residence and the accusation of undue influence can derail such transfers.
On Tuesday, Kearns coach Bill Cosper pointed this out as a "loophole" something other coaches and administrators have called full family moves in the past. But if a family moves, how can the UHSAA rightfully deny the students the opportunity to play at their new school? It's a tough question, one the association is still figuring out how best to handle.
As the UHSAA tweaks its transfer rules in the coming years, it could be a point of contention.