On August 14th, a committee of adults decided the fate of a teenager, one of whom would have had zero tangible consequence to any of the members of said committee, because the University Interscholastic League bylaws for transfers are utter bullshit.
Last year, Jacob Rosales attended Sharyland Pioneer High School where he participated in football as their starting quarterback, as he has been since his freshman year. Last fall as a junior, Rosales compiled 2100 passing yards, 19 TDs, and only 3 interceptions to go along with over 800 yards rushing and 12 TDs on the ground. Rosales also starred as a starting pitcher for the Pioneer’s baseball team. Suffice it to say, Rosales was a stand-out athlete for the Pioneer Diamondbacks.
Over the summer, the Rosales family moved out of their home in Mission and into an apartment zoned for Edinburg Vela High, thus triggering Rosales transfer to Vela, a relatively new Valley football powerhouse, for the fall. According to the Texas Education Code §25.001, Rosales satisfies the requirements for attending school at Edinburg Vela, however, participation in extra-curricular events, especially athletics, is governed much more ridiculously stringently by the University Interscholastic League’s Constitution and Contest Rules.
According to UIL rules, there is a set of criteria the parents must meet when a student transferring from one district to another and wishes to participate in athletic competition. One is to establish a bonafide residence in the new district, including having a lease of a “reasonable” length and (I’m not joking) ensuring there is no furniture left in the previous residence. The student must also have a Previous Athletic Participation Form (PAPF) signed by a representative of the previous school AND a representative from their current school stating that they were not recruited and did not transfer for athletic purposes. Once completed, the District Executive Committee (DEC) must approve the form.
If the PAPF is not signed by one of the parties, the student is automatically assumed to be transferring for athletic purposes and a hearing to determine the student’s eligibility must be held by the DEC.
In Rosales’ case, Sharyland Pioneer declined to sign off on his PAPF, effectively protesting the transfer to the DEC, claiming Rosales was transferring to Edinburg Vela for athletic purposes.
On July 30th, the district 31-6A DEC took testimony to determine Rosales’ eligibility from the Rosales family and Sharyland Pioneer coach Tommy Lee. By a 5-1 vote, the committee voted that Rosales was ineligible to participate in UIL athletics for Edinburg Vela.
Rosales appealed the decision and two weeks later, the UIL State Executive Committee also denied his transfer, making him effectively ineligible to play for any other school other than Sharyland Pioneer.
That’s fucking bullshit.
Let’s take a minute to rip on Sharyland Pioneer. Rosales had 1 year left of eligibility and all they had to do was sign off on his paperwork and get over the fact that the kid was leaving the program. These three grown-ass men in Tommy Lee, Pioneer baseball coach Casey Smith, and AD Richard Thompson instead decided to keep it petty and essentially ruin this kid’s FINAL year of eligibility.
What was your grand plan, guys? Did you really think he’d be down to go back and suit up for a coach that fucked him over? Jesus Christ.
This kid had a great opportunity to potentially play for a scholarship somewhere else and get some scouts to impress via a deep playoff run and you fucked him over because your feelings got hurt. Eat a bag of dicks.
Also, fuck these UIL bylaws.
They were written on the premise that some of these athletes that are going D1 in larger cities like Houston and Dallas are legitimately getting an education where they are now. Stop kidding yourselves. If a first chair trumpet player from one district decided to go to a music powerhouse the following year where they’d get better music instruction for a chance at a music scholarship, that student would be eligible immediately, but if a star football player wants better coaching and a better shot at a D1 scholarship, you need an act of Congress to let them go. IMG Academy figured it out a while ago that there are some students who have a legitimate goal of earning an athletic scholarship and WILL transfer to where they can have the best opportunity to receive one. If an athlete wants to transfer for athletic purposes, then so the fuck what. Why should the UIL act like the morality police and dictate what a parent wants for their child?
Rosales has a few options at his disposal, however, to be eligible to play. He may return back to Pioneer to play out his last season (which he might have done according to rumors from sports forums, but fuck those guys), play in at a private school outside of UIL’s purview or take UIL to court by filing a temporary restraining order followed by a preliminary injunction.
Ultimately, the UIL and Sharyland Pioneer look significantly worse coming out of this and all to fuck over a kid who just happened to be really good at sports.
You know, in Pioneer football coach Tommy Lee’s testimony, not once did I hear “education.”
What a shame.