Instead of taking part in the first day of football practice next week, quarterback Derrick Becker will be trying to persuade a five-person committee that his transfer from Capital High School to Olympia should be allowed so that he can play varsity football this fall.
Olympia High School will not allow Becker to take the field for fear he does not satisfy Washington Interscholastic Activities Association eligibility requirements, said Olympia football coach Bill Beattie.
Becker, who played three seasons at Capital but applied to transfer to Olympia this summer for his senior season, has appealed the decision to West Central District III, and his case will be heard Wednesday at the Fife Public Schools administrative office.
Beattie said a transfer rule in question is 18.10.0 of the WIAA Handbook, a revised rule regarding residence and the family unit, which reads in
part, “The adult(s) who has/have resided with, had legal custody, legal guardianship, or has/have acted in a parental capacity of a student and any siblings high school age or younger with whom the student resides for a period of at least one (1) year.”
Moreover, rule 18.10.1 states, in part, “In order to be eligible to participate and/or represent a member school in an interscholastic contest, the student of that school must be residing within the boundaries of that school district and designated attendance area of that school. …”
“You ask probably three or four different people in the know (about the rule) and they all have different opinions,” Beattie said.
In June, Becker’s father, Aric, told The Olympian he and his son planned to rent a home within the Olympia High School boundaries because his wife, Angie, and their youngest daughter were moving to Hawaii where Angie Becker had a job offer.
Tom Reardon, chairman of West Central District’s III eligibility committee, said the panel set to hear Becker’s appeal is made up of school administrators from WCD-member schools. They will review documents and listen to testimony. Becker could learn his fate “before the night is out,” Reardon said.
“Following the hearing, the committee will review all of the information and make a determination if, based on the rules and guidelines in the WIAA Handbook, it can grant Derrick varsity eligibility,” Reardon said.
He added that none of the committee members has ties to the Olympia School District or schools within Thurston County. He declined to talk about specifics in Becker’s case, saying there are “specific guidelines to what constitutes a transfer” within the WIAA Handbook.
“A transfer can be brought up by a multitude of reasons,” Reardon said.
Over the past two seasons at Capital, Derrick Becker threw for more than 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns as the starting quarterback, leading the Cougars to the Class 3A quarterfinals in 2011 and the 2A state semifinals in 2012.
Attempts to reach Aric Becker for comment were unsuccessful.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 email@example.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick