Malcolm Delaney, who has transferred from McDonogh to Towson Catholic, has received a waiver from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, making him eligible to play basketball this season.
Delaney, who started in the sport as a freshman at McDonogh last winter and also played football, received the waiver from the MIAA's executive committee after his appeal was heard Wednesday night.
MIAA rules stipulate that a student-athlete who transfers within the 28 private high schools that constitute the association, as Delaney did, must sit out sports for one year unless he receives an exemption.
McDonogh did not contest the appeal by Delaney, considered by some skilled enough to be a potential NCAA Division I basketball player, and his parents. Eagles basketball coach Matt MacMullan said Wednesday that "not playing football to concentrate on basketball was definitely part" of Delaney's decision to change schools.
"The non-participation rule was made to stop tampering among our schools, and, in this case, there was clearly no tampering by Towson Catholic, and McDonogh supported the kid 100 percent," said MIAA executive director Rick Diggs.
"Every case is different, and the NCAA lets kids play if they are released from the other school. And, yes, it sets a precedent, because it was the first time such a decision was made by our executive committee. In the past, I made the decision."
In May, the transfer rules and appeals process were revised at the MIAA's annual meeting of its member high school principals.
"I'm concerned about the precedent we set in this case, but we felt this kid deserved the opportunity to play," Diggs said. "We need to refine our process at the end of this year in order to prevent any problems or abuse of the rules."