The Eligibility and Compliance Services Department
“Showing the Way: Mentorship. Education. Service.”
The Florida High School Athletic Association Eligibility and Compliance Services Department provides assistance to FHSAA member schools by determining student eligibility. With a mission to mentor, educate, and serve FHSAA member schools, the department hosts interactive webinars and seminars and conducts onsite school visits to assist in school compliance with FHSAA Bylaws and Policies.
Eligibility and Compliance Services also oversees the investigative process, if warranted, and facilitates the appeals process as it relates to due process afforded member schools, coaches, and students. The Eligibility and Compliance Services Department supports the Purpose of the Association by applying the Bylaws, Policies and Administrative Procedures in an equitable manner (Reference Bylaw 1.2).
Impact of HB 7029 on Recruiting and Transfers
On July 1, 2016, the amendments to FHSAA Bylaws and Policies resulting from HB 7029 and adoptions by the FHSAA Representative Assembly and Board of Directors will take effect. In order to clarify any misperceptions regarding those changes, please review the information below:
Recruiting is considered an act of gross unsportsmanlike conduct and is expressly forbidden. This has not changed. In fact HB 7029 has imposed an incremental penalty tier on personnel and contracted employees of the school/district who are found to have violated the recruiting regulations.
- 1st Offense: $5,000 forfeit of salary payments (which remain with the school district)
- 2nd Offense: $5,000 forfeit of salary payments (which remain with the school district) and suspension without pay from coaching for 12 months
- 3rd Offense: $5,000 forfeit of salary payments (which remain with the school district) and reporting the case to DOE for review (potentially revoking the teacher’s or coach’s certification for 3 years)
Though HB 7029 specifically addresses school personnel and contracted employees, representatives of a school’s athletic interest are not exempt from compliance of recruiting regulations listed in FHSAA Policies 36 and 37. If a non-school employee is found in violation of the recruiting regulations, the penalty to the member school may include a combination of the following:
- Financial penalty of a minimum of $2,500
- A form or combination of forms of probation (administrative, restrictive and/or suspension) for one or more years
- Prohibition against participating in interscholastic competitions
- Participation at a higher classification for one or more years
- Restricted membership for one or more years
- Expulsion from membership in the Association for one or more years
Communication of any type (i.e. flyers, e-mails, text messages, social media posts, meeting announcements, etc.) with a student or students, which pressures, urges or entices a student or students to come to a school is considered recruiting.
Student-athletes are immediately eligible (as long as they meet all other eligibility standards – including, but not limited to age, limit of eligibility, pre-participation physical exam, GPA, and consent and liability release) at the school in which he or she first attends each school year; the school in which the student makes himself or herself a candidate for an athletic team by engaging in practice or tryouts before enrolling; or the school to which the student has transferred in accordance with s. 1006.20 (2) (a).
If the transfer occurs during the school year, the student may seek to immediately join an existing team if:
- A roster spot is available
- The student has the requisite skill and ability to participate in the sport according to the coach of the team
- The student has not participated in the same sport at another school during the same school year – unless the student meets one of the following exceptions:
- Dependent child of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders
- Relocation due to a foster care placement in a different school zone
- Move due to court-ordered change in custody due to separation or divorce, or the serious illness or death of a custodial parent
- Authorized for good cause in the district or charter school policy