A Monongalia County Circuit Judge has issued a temporary injunction that will allow one of Trinity Christian Schools’ best players to continue to play basketball despite being ruled ineligible by the WVSSAC.
A.J. Mayle was ruled ineligible by the WVSSAC based on the “Transfer Back” rule. Mayle attended Cheat Lake Middle School before attending Trinity for his freshman and sophomore years. He spent his junior year at The Kiski School in Pennsylvania (an all-boys boarding school) before returning to Trinity for his senior year.
The “Transfer Back” rule allows a student to transfer back to the public school in his or her attendance zone or a private school, provided the student “attended the private school’s feeder school during the 365 day prior to enrollment in the ninth grade.”
Since Mayle attended Cheat Lake Middle, a feeder for University High, it could be interpreted to mean that he would have to enroll at UHS to be eligible.
However, Mayle attended Trinity in sixth and seventh grades and didn’t withdraw from Trinity until August 14, 2006 before enrolling at Cheat Lake Middle. Mayle re-enrolled at Trinity on July 1, 2007, so Trinity attorney Chilton Wise says that should meet the 365-day requirement to deem Trinity as Mayle’s “home school”.
“There is no question that A.J. attended Cheat Lake Middle in eighth grade,” Wise told The Dominion Post. “But Trinity has a 365-day academic year. So if you look at the literal reading of the rulebook, A.J. was enrolled at Trinity in sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade.”
“The rulebook says ‘enrolled’ not ‘attended.’ There are other instances where there is a clear distinction between ‘enrolled’ and ‘attended.’ It’s their own language and they chose to use it. We believe that we’ve complied and that A.J. is eligible,” said Wise.
Due to the injunction Mayle will be allowed to play in Tuesday night’s game against Beallsville, Ohio in the Ohio Valley Conference playoffs.
Trinity is currently 18-1 and ranked No. 1 among Class A teams in the Metronews Power Index.