GHSA rules in favor of Grayson transfer Taylor

The Georgia High School Association has closed the case of Grayson transfer student Kurt Taylor, finding no evidence that the football star broke any rules with his move from Newton High in the off-season, GHSA assistant executive director Jay Russell confirmed Tuesday.

Taylor, the leading rusher on Grayson’s 2016 Class AAAAAAA championship team, transferred to Grayson, then back to Newton after the football season. Taylor was among five Grayson transfers who were seniors and went on to sign with Power Five conference college programs.

To be eligible immediately for sports at a new school, a transfer student generally must move into his new school district and abandon his previous residence.

A report by Fox 5 Atlanta in March revealed that Taylor was living again in his original Covington residence, raising questions about whether the home was truly abandoned during his time at Grayson, specifically during the football season.

‘’We didn’t have anything to prove otherwise,’’ Russell said. “We felt it was a bona fide move. The school [Grayson] produced evidence that it was.’’

The GHSA did rule Taylor ineligible for sports at Newton because he failed to maintain his bona fide move for one year, as required by GHSA bylaws. That was a moot point issue since Taylor is a senior and hasn't participated in sports since his return to Newton.

Russell said that the GHSA discussed whether Taylor’s failure to reach the one-year threshold could make him ineligible retroactively at Grayson, which could result in forfeiture of Grayson's 14 victories and state title.

But on advice from its attorney, the GHSA declined for lack of precedence and ambiguity in the way the bylaw was written.

Bylaw 1.62 (A4) reads: ‘’The bona fide move is validated when the student’s family maintains the new residence for at least one calendar year. A return to the previous service area [school district] within that year renders the student to be a migrant student.’’ A migrant student is ineligible for sports for one year.

The GHSA’s attorney proposed to amend the bylaw to make it clear that transfers failing to maintain a bona-fide move for one year are ineligible going forward and retroactively. The proposal was tabled at the GHSA’s executive committee in April.