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GHSA approves new Executive Director, tables new transfer regulations

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
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THOMASTON — The Georgia High School Association welcomed a new Executive Director and delayed voting on big changes to its student athlete transfer policy during its spring Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday in Thomaston.

The GHSA's Executive Committee voted unanimously to honor retiring Executive Director Gary Phillips and then selected Dr. Robin Hines to follow in his footsteps as the next Executive Director.

Phillips announced in March that he would step down from his position following pressure from members of the Georgia General Assembly. Two seperate pieces of legislation, whose passage would have seen the state take over the role the GHSA has performed over its 109-year history -- one representative even referred to one bill as a "stick" -- fostered the change.

Hines will be given a three-year contract and a starting salary of $125,000 per year beginning officially on June 1, 2017.

The other big topic in Thomaston concerned the transfer policy for student-athletes within GHSA schools -- and it appears that issue will remain a topic of debate.

The GHSA did make one change, altering its "migratory rule" by approving the second of two options up for vote, but it also tabled a proposed "50 Percent Sit Out Rule."

The "Second Option" states that:

"The migratory rule will be waived one time for boarding students only who enter the following schools: Ben Franklin Academy; Darlington; Riverside Military Academy; Tallulah Falls. This By-law will be effective for Darlington beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and for Ben Franklin Academy, Riverside Military Academy and Tallulah Falls beginning with the 2018-2019 school year."

Meanwhile, the 50 percent rule, which was tabled by a vote of 62-2, states that any student athlete making a bona fide move from one GHSA school to another would be required to sit out 50 percent of all competitions for one calendar year. There would be exceptions allowed, including a waiver application in which the "sending" school may waive the 50 percent sit out for the athlete at the "receiving" school.

For more details on the tabled "50 Percent Sit Out Rule," simply click here and scroll down to page three.

The GHSA's transfer policy debate will continue in further committee meetings.

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