Is It Fair That High School Students Are Transferring To Other States To Play Sports?

High school football is well underway in states like Utah and Iowa, but it isn’t here in Oregon. While the plan is to delay football and other fall sports to the spring, this isn’t a good sign for current high school seniors because with the delay goes their shot for getting (final) recruitment offers from colleges.

This website shows the current state of sports in states across the country.

Looking at the numbers between a state like Oregon and Utah, there is a clear winner in the number of cases. Utah has over 30,000 more cases even though they have half as many residents as Oregon. Interesting…

I don’t want to get into the politics of why some places have closed schools and others are doing Comprehensive Distance Learning, but it is what is occurring.

Now, let’s take Utah again. Because they are having in-person classes, that also means that the football season is continuing during the fall like usual.

The most common first thought might be, “So they’re only moving to the state to play football?”

In short, yes. That’s the primary reason, which unfortunately leaves students who can’t afford to move or have worked hard in their school teams to not be able to start due to a star transfer from another school. There is another, more depressing reason, however.

A Wisconsin study has shown that a majority of high school athletes felt depressed and anxious with the cancelation of their sports – it got so bad for some that it required medical attention.

Yes, this is a significant point to think about. Isn’t it worth transferring to another state if I have a student-athlete so I can avoid this and they can achieve their dreams of playing in college, even if it means risking getting Covid-19?

Honestly, that decision is for you to decide. Just like those families who moved did. They ultimately decided that it would be worth it for the future.

Now to the unfortunate sides of this. Imagine you’re a rising senior excited to finally be a varsity starter on your town’s high school team and some kid from another state decides to transfer in. That would suck. You grinded from the youth football leagues to get a chance to shine in front of your family and friends. But now some random kid takes your spot. That would definitely hurt.

The previous example could be easily dismissed as, “Well, they weren’t good enough. That’s what happens.”

I’m not going to disagree with you. That is a valid point.

But, what is something that is just unfair is when families can’t afford to move. The one shot some of these kids had at attending and receiving a high education is gone – all because they couldn’t afford to make the move. The situation is completely out of their hands.

What do you say to those kids?

This isn’t a simple relocation to another state and school either. There are some strict guidelines that these transfers have to abide by. 

These rules involve:

  1. The entire family must move. It can’t just be a player and his mom while his dad and sister stay back.
  2. Evidence that the family’s current house has been sold or their current lease has been terminated. This takes effort and a decent amount of planning.
  3. Evidence that a house or apartment has been acquired for residence within the prospective school’s boundaries.

These are just a few of the strict rules which don’t make this move cheap. Oh, they also have to pay for the move, which can be expensive.

OSAA (Oregon’s sports governing body) specifically moved all the sports to the fall. This means that while the season may be too late for seniors, there is still a chance for high school juniors and underclassmen to be able to play – at least for now.

This potentially may be fine if the NCAA pushes back national signing day.

What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s fair that high school athletes are transferring to other states to play sports?

About Kush Khamesra 21 Articles
Brought up in Oregon, Kush is a rising junior at Westview High School. He's played basketball and water polo at the national level for many years. When he's not practicing, you can catch him eating, doing homework, or catching up on sports news. He enjoys watching football and basketball. He has aspirations of being able to use data to analyze and optimize various aspects of sports.