IHSAA is in the wrong for punishing players who are thinking about their future


Niki Smithers, Reporter

Eron Gordon, Joey Brunk, and Jalen Coleman all have one thing in common aside from being phenomenal basketball players: All three of them transferred to their current high school. Gordon transferred from North Central to Cathedral, Brunk from Park Tudor to Southport, and Coleman from Cathedral to La Lumiere. What we don’t know is if any of these players were recruited.

Recruiting is pretty common in high school sports, making it harder for teams in a rebuilding phase to construct a new program. Recruiting in high school is wrong, plain and simple. I understand that big schools attract star players. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when coaches go out of their way to convince high schoolers to pick up their lives at one school and go to another, there’s a problem.

Ultimately, transferring should be a family decision. If the student’s parents decide it’s better for their son or daughter to transfer schools, they should be allowed to do it. The IHSAA shouldn’t stop a transfer just because they think it’s for athletic reasons. They should stop it if there’s proof coaches attempted to persuade a student to come to their school.

Take Eron Gordon, for example. He’s a 6 foot 2 shooting guard with interest from IU, Purdue, Arizona State, Nebraska, and Kentucky. He was also deemed ineligible for the 2014-15 basketball season by the IHSAA because his transfer was “primarily for athletic reasons.” So what if he transferred for athletic reasons? If his family thinks it’s in the best interest of his future, then Gordon shouldn’t be penalized.

In January, Gordon’s suspension was lifted. The real question surrounding Gordon’s case is whether or not he was recruited. The Gordon family has a legacy at North Central. His brothers, Eric and Evan Gordon, both graduated from North Central. Why would their parents want Eron to transfer, but not Eric or Evan? There can’t be much wrong with North Central’s program. Eric is in the NBA and Evan is playing at IU. Not to mention, North Central is ranked eighth in the state.

Let’s say for a minute that Eron Gordon was recruited. He shouldn’t be punished for his decision to go somewhere that could improve his future. Instead, the coaches should face consequences. I’m not saying that they should be fired, but a suspension of one or two days could teach them a lesson. This way, Gordon could still prove to college scouts what he’s capable of, but there’s still action taken against recruiting.

The bottom line is recruiting isn’t right. Influencing a 15, 16, or 17 year old’s decision isn’t right. But transferring schools to improve your future isn’t wrong, and IHSAA needs to see that.