SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Transfer rules have too many loopholes

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 at 04:09 PM.

There's been a lot of talk about allegations of local high school athletic programs having illegal contact or recruiting athletes from other Okaloosa County schools.

If you missed it, seven key Fort Walton Beach High School football players transferred to Niceville High School in just a few days, and some people at Fort Walton Beach questioned motives behind the transfers.

While Niceville High School was cleared of any wrongdoing, a school board investigation showed that an assistant coach made an illegal in-home visit to a current Crestview High School athlete after the athlete's eighth-grade year.

I have been covering Okaloosa County sports since January of 2001. At one time or another in the last 13-plus years I've heard accusations and innuendo about almost every school in the county allegedly recruiting.

Do I believe Okaloosa County high schools recruit players from other schools? It's possible; several well-placed sources across the county have told me things off the record.

While working for the Northwest Florida Daily News several years ago I received several anonymous calls — complete with a blocked phone number and a disguised voice — accusing a high school of recruiting.

Can I prove the recruiting? No, not without more to go on.

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