Sutherland Institute Report Debunks Six Myths About Student-Athlete Transfers

For Immediate Release: Feb. 7, 2011
Contact: David Buer, Director of Communications
Sutherland Institute
801-355-1272 (w)
801-657-0756 (c)


SALT LAKE CITY (FEB. 7, 2011)—A new Sutherland Institute report contends that the Utah High School Activities Association’s (UHSAA) transfer rule unfairly limits open-enrollment options for Utah’s student-athletes.

“The UHSAA’s transfer rule discourages students from transferring between schools to improve their educational experience, even though state law provides them that opportunity,” said Matthew C. Piccolo, Sutherland policy analyst and the report’s author. “The Utah Legislature needs to take action so that all students and their parents – not the UHSAA or the public schools – can decide what is best for Utah students and their families.”

As the Legislature prepares to consider SB 53, a bill that would allow open-enrollment students to remain eligible in athletics, this report debunks six myths commonly used by opponents of an open transfer rule:

Myth No. 1: A closed rule places a “minimal burden” on a student’s choice of schools.
Myth No. 2: A closed rule helps students prioritize academics above athletics.
Myth No. 3: An open rule would destroy competition in high school sports.
Myth No. 4: The UHSAA is justified in restricting access to athletics because athletics are a privilege, not a right.
Myth No. 5: An open rule would unfairly allow student-athletes to displace one another.
Myth No. 6: Legislative efforts to change the transfer rule are inappropriate and unnecessary.

To access the report, visit

Sutherland Institute is a conservative, state-based, independent public policy organization located in Salt Lake City. Our mission: protecting the cause of freedom, constructively influencing Utah’s decision makers, and promoting responsible citizenship. Sutherland Institute is recognized as the leading conservative think tank in the state of Utah.