IHSAA Uses Bylaw To Grant Austin Hatch 5th Year of Eligibility

Sound Off: Cox On Hatch Ruling

By Eric Dutkiewicz

September 7, 2012 Updated Sep 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The IHSAA granted Canterbury guard/forward Austin Hatch a fifth year of high school eligibilty as Hatch continues his recovery from a 2011 plane crash that killed his father and stepmother.

In the year that followed the crash, Hatch missed a lot of school, and was unable to play for the Cavaliers boys basketball team.

The IHSAA stepped in, using a provision in the organization's bylaws to give Hatch another year to graduate and potentially play basketball.

Bylaw 12.3 says, in part: "If a student is injured or contracts an illness which necessitates the student’s complete withdrawal from the school or prohibits enrollment in the school for that semester, and the student does not receive any academic credit for that semester, then the semester shall not count as one of the consecutive semesters of enrollment.

IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox says Hatch met those standards, and was awarded additional eligibilty.

"A youngster almost loses his life, and comes back, and now is going to try to hearn his diploma," Cox said on Sound Off. "We're just happy to be able to provide this young man an opportunity."

Hatch, who verbally committed to the University of Michigan days before the crash, will be reclassified from the the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2014.

Hatch's recovery has been arduous; and it is unclear if he will be able to play basketball again. But Wolverines head coach John Beilein has said Michigan will honor Hatch's scholarship offer.

Click on the video icon to see the entire interview with Cox.




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