OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ty Burns, R-Pawnee, today applauded the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) board of directors for approving an exception granting one free transfer to any high school student with established athletic eligibility at their current school.
Burns, a former public school teacher and coach, previously attempted to introduce legislation to modify the eligibility criteria for high school transfer students to play sports. However, the exception to Rule 8 occurred through rules rather than legislative action.
"I commend OSSAA for adopting this rule change following my efforts to advance multiple bills and conduct an interim study," Burns said. "I appreciate Kevin Sain and all the parents who actively participated in the interim study and every step of the process. Now, students who love playing sports get a better shot at doing what they love without all the usual waiting and paperwork."
The change is an exception to Rule 8, which states a student must wait one year from the first date of attendance at a new school before gaining athletic eligibility unless a hardship waiver is granted. Free transfers allow students to switch schools once without sitting out or moving to a new district, and they do not require hardship waivers.
Kevin Sain, with Sain Law Firm, P.C., also commented on OSSAA's recent exception.
"I am grateful for Representative Burns' advocacy; he has continuously listened and acted on behalf of Oklahoma's students," Sain said. "Despite the challenges kids face today, I see hope for Oklahoma's students in the future."
According to OSSAA, schools are prohibited from recruiting student athletes, and those who are recruited will face disqualification from all levels of competition.
This measure will take effect July 1, 2024, and the 2024 transfer window will last from July 1-15.