Prep Beat

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, February 18, 1999

ILH might compromise
on eligibility

Principals discuss two-year
rule for transfer students

By Pat Bigold


A compromise could be in the offing between the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and the Oahu Interscholastic Association over postseason eligibility.

The apparent aim is to quell the OIA's concerns about what officials of that league have called the ILH's practice of ''redshirting" football players.

According to sources, ILH principals met yesterday and discussed adopting a two-year ineligibility rule for athletes who transfer into their league from an Oahu public school and are held back the ensuing school year.

No official word was issued because Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive director Keith Amemiya recently announced a gag rule on the issue for HHSAA member schools.

The football eligibility issue came to a head Jan. 25 when OIA principals voted unanimously to secede from a 26-year pact with the ILH in the Prep Bowl. The vote came about after the ILH refused to adopt the eight-consecutive-semesters eligibility rule used by the state's other four leagues.

The last Prep Bowl had a turnstile count of 20,959 and about 8,000 households subscribed at $12.95 apiece to watch the game on Oceanic Cable's pay-per-view channel. The gate was evenly divided among the 27 schools in both leagues. The schools got 40 percent of the TV revenue plus a cash advance.

It was not clear last night what kind of postseason football format the ILH will propose along with the compromise.

The HHSAA, which could attract a major sponsorship deal if it assumes control of a football tournament, has already proposed a eight-team tournament format involving all leagues.

The quarterfinals would begin Nov. 19 at Aloha Stadium and Vidinha Stadium (Kauai). The championship would be played Dec. 4 at Aloha Stadium.

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