Updated: September 18, 2019 11:17 PM
Created: September 18, 2019 10:51 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – While his teammates are out on the field, East High School’s Seven McGee will have to keep standing on the sidelines.
Section Five announced Wednesday that McGee’s appeal to play had been denied.
In a statement, Section Five Executive Director Kathy Hoyt told us they were just following the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s transfer rule, which requires a player to live in-state for at least six months.
It's a rule which East High Superintendent Dr. Shaun Nelms says is not consistent. He also says the rule makes it difficult on urban and rural families who may seek a better opportunity, much like McGee did.
"The system itself consistently and constantly tells them that no matter how hard they fight, and no matter how hard they try to do the right thing, they could still be penalized," Nelms said.
McGee originally left the state to go to Narbonne High School in Los Angeles, California, but came back amid concerns about the school environment, as well as unsafe living conditions.
And that’s when East High filed the appeal.
"Sometimes, injuries happen, sometimes stuff happens, or you get hold up, unfortunately it happened to me," McGee said during a game on September 7.
Nelms says McGee will be eligible to play for his senior year next year, but this latest roadblock won't stop them from continuing to fight for this year.
He says they could take their appeal to the state level, perhaps influencing change.
"It’s important that the section and the state look at these policies through an equitable lens," Nelms said.
That, he said, would honor and support kids in a similar situation as McGee.
News10NBC messaged McGee for comment Wednesday night. While he returned the message, he was not available to speak.
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