According to a letter from the WIAA received by Menomonee Falls Athletic Director Dave Petroff Thursday morning, the waiver of eligibility applied for by recently transferred basketball player Jalen McCloud to the organization has been denied.
McCloud, who just finished his junior year, was the starting point guard for the two-time state tournament qualifying Germantown boys basketball team. His family moved to Menomonee Falls shortly after the basketball season was completed and he finished out his second semester of schooling at the Falls.
But by moving during his junior year, according to WIAA rules, McCloud made himself ineligible for one school year of varsity athletic competition. According to WIAA Executive Director-to-be David Anderson, the rules were put in place more than three years ago to prevent student/athletes from jumping school to school in search of a better athletic situation.
Another reason for the implementation of the rules, said Anderson, is that they help prevent member schools from becoming "disagreeable" with one another over the perceived raiding of talented student/athletes. Such cases precipitated the rule change, Anderson said. A student/athlete can transfer and be immediately eligible at a new school if they transfer before the start of their sophomore year.
McCloud will be a senior this fall in his final year of high school athletic eligibility. He is one of two Germantown basketball players who would have returned to the team next winter who transferred out of the school district after the season. There was no confirmable information available on the status of the other student/athlete or where he is enrolled.
Under confidentiality rules, Warhawk basketball coach Steve Showalter was limited in his comments to saying "Two players who meant a lot to our program, who helped us get to state and win several championships have decided to leave the program. If things had gone according to my plans they would have contributed greatly to the team next year."
According to the WIAA, after transferring, McCloud and his family needed to file the waiver with the WIAA in order to be made eligible for varsity events. Anderson said that the organization normally reviews about 700 to 800 such requests a school year. Waivers have been granted in the case of clear situations where the family had to relocate long distances because of a parent's job situation or other similar circumstances.
Transfers deemed too close geographically or having been done for purely athletic reasons are usually turned down, Anderson said.
Associate Director Deb Hauser said that, "The documentation that we had to review did not identify any extenuating circumstances or any real geographic neccesity," in the case of McCloud's situation.
Anderson did note that if the transferring student decides to go back to his or her original school, they would retain their eligibility.
"Every kid needs a chance to be eligible except in the case of athletic code violations or expulsion," he said. McCloud was not dealing with these kind of situations.
Petroff said that by normal protocol, the school "receiving" the transferred student sends a letter of transfer verification to the student's original school. The family has to fill out forms detailing the reasons for the move before the letter goes out.
All this was done, said Petroff.
"And if both schools agree not to oppose the transfer, the student/athlete would be eligible for non-varsity competition (with the option of appealing to the WIAA to participate on the varsity level)," said Petroff.
But if the student/athlete is deemed by the original school to have transferred for just athletic reasons, the student/athlete would be ineligible for any competition at the new school. Petroff said that Germantown officials said this was the case in McCloud's situation.
Germantown Athletic Director Jack Klebesadel would neither confirm or deny that assertion saying that "the situation is in the WIAA's hands."
A call to the McCloud family to detail their reasons and any plans for further action, was not immediately returned.
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