Statement on Transfer Students and Eligibility

Tolton community,

We’ve been responding to a number of inquiries from Tolton families and fans regarding recent media coverage of two student transfer requests that have been/are being vetted by MSHSAA.  We wanted to reach out to clarify the facts of the situation.  There is a misperception that Tolton administration is intentionally trying to impact the eligibility of transferring students.  This is not the case. MSHSAA rules, by default, require a one-year ineligibility period for ANY student following a voluntary transfer between member schools.  This simply means that the transferring student may practice and play at the JV level, but is automatically ineligible to play at the Varsity level for 365 days.  All member schools are subject to this protocol – we even have a couple of students currently enrolled here at Tolton who were subject to that guideline when they transferred in to our community from the public school system.

Transferring student families may choose to pursue an appeal, leveraging one of 10 eligibility exceptions, such as financial hardship or a full-family change of residence.  (A full list of possible exceptions can be found in Section 3 of the MSHSAA handbook here.)  Transferring for athletic reasons does not qualify as an optional exception.

When a student requests a transfer, MSHSAA inquires of the “sending school”.  The sending school has an ethical and moral responsibility to respond to that inquiry in a thorough and honest fashion. If the athletic administration has been told, or otherwise has evidence to support, the fact the transfer is occurring for the purpose of pursing athletic opportunities at another institution, it obligated to include that information in its response to MSHSAA.  From there, MSHSAA reviews facts from both sides and makes its determination on a case-by-case basis.  The sending school has no further influence over the situation and the burden of proof to qualify for a hardship situation or other exception falls on the student’s family.

With regard to the requests currently receiving media attention, we at Tolton wish the students involved and their families much success at their new schools.


Deacon Dan Joyce, President

Fr. Tolton Catholic High School