There is certainly some logic behind the radius reduction from 50 to 25 miles in the proposed transfer rule.
The new number would still prevent a large percentage of transfers, especially the controversial ones where an athlete goes from one school to another right down the street.
Logistically, it’s also a lot easier to handle because there would be fewer hardship appeals.
However, I worry that the reduction allows for just the type of loophole that will lead to further imbalance in the East Valley. If the 50-mile number stayed in place, it would have eliminated any chance of a player transferring from one East Valley school to another (barring a successful appeal).
At 25 miles, it allows some leeway for athletes who start at an outlying school to go to another one. Queen Creek, for instance, could benefit from this change, especially considering the success the football program is having. Same for Desert Mountain and Basha.
A move of more than 25 miles would certainly be more complicated than just going to a neighboring school, but don’t underestimate a parent’s willingness to pull out the stops for the benefit of his or her child.
On the flip-side, it makes it virtually impossible for centralized schools like Dobson or Mesquite to get an impact transfer unless it comes from Tucson, Flagstaff or the West Valley.
For East Valley purposes, a blanket 50-mile rule would have been nice because it would have encompassed the entire Valley and not allowed for any transfers without appeal. If one thing is tried and true, people will always figure out ways to take advantage of rules, and this gives them that opportunity.
Maybe 25 miles will prove to be too far, effectively changing the mindset of parents and athletes who will make the best of the situation at their original school. Transfers could become a thing of the past.
But that’s the glass half-full view, and there’s a mountain of evidence that the glass is half-empty.
The 50-mile rule would have patched up a leaky dam.