By Brian McLaughlin, FNF Coaches Correspondent

A new Florida High School Athletic Association rule — implemented on July 1 — allowed players to transfer to another school and play sports immediately.

Coaches are concerned that the rule change will:

  • Result in more transfers than ever before
  • Make it more difficult to build team chemistry
  • Allow players to build All-Star teams

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New Florida Transfer Rule Could Turn Prep Football Rosters Upside Down

The Florida High School Athletic Association wasn’t exactly keen on the idea in the beginning. Nevertheless, a version of Florida high school free agency opened up on July 1 this summer. Freedom of school choice is here, folks. It passed through the Florida legislature earlier this year and on to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott—who signed it. It is effective immediately—and the way the educational system works, July 1 is like Jan. 1 is to the calendar. When that day comes, restrictions on transferring will change drastically and a student can move to another school and play sports immediately.

This of course could turn into a can of worms, but let’s face it—in many ways this has been going on already. Coaches told FNF Coaches Magazine off the record that it’s going to be a crazy summer—especially in urban areas like Miami-Dade or Broward County.

“It’s going to be tough to keep track of,” one coach from Broward told FNF. “Our roster could look completely different from what we had on the field in the spring game.”

If teams are lucky, they’ll add some key players to offset the loss of a few players. One coach said it’ll be a free-for-all, while another told FNF that it’s an improvement over the old ways because now at least it’s out in the open and everybody is officially dealing with the same rule—or lack of rule.

More rural rosters won’t be affected as much by the transfer situation—because frankly, there aren’t any schools close enough to transfer to or from.

“It won’t have much influence on our program,” one small-town coach told FNF. “But it could have influence on teams we play down the line, teams in our district and especially in the playoffs.”

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Dan Guttenplan is FNF Coaches senior managing editor. Do you have a thought about this article you would like to share? Send him an email at [email protected], tweet us @fnfcoaches or share it on the Coaches Chat Board. 

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