Dec 10, 2014 – Thomaston, Ga –
Junior high school student, Liam Dahlberg, of Lambert High School was denied GHSA basketball eligibility at his appeals hearing yesterday. Dahlberg attended Lambert in 9th grade but transferred to Greater Atlanta Christian for his sophomore year. He was ineligible to play varsity basketball that year due to the GHSA transfer rules since his family did not move. His family stated that they decided to transfer back for his Junior year to his home public school, Lambert High School, due to the extreme difficulty in commuting to Greater Atlanta Christian (GAC). Lambert is 0.5 miles away from their home, compared to 20 miles for GAC. The family had lived in the same house for 10 years and Dahlberg attended high school at Lambert for his 9th grade year and was simply returning to this same school for his junior year. Once again, because of the transfer rules, Dahlberg was initially denied eligibility. Lambert High School appealed this decision and was granted a hardship hearing.
This first hearing took place on November 11, 2014. According to the family, they presented their case to the hardship board. The family stated that the board was understanding of the predicament the family was in when trying to commute 20 miles to school and even refused to accept financial documents from the family, indicating that “they were not needed.” However, the board denied the hardship. An explanation was never given to the family.
An appeal was filed and another hearing was granted since the board did not accept the family’s documentation. This appeals hearing occurred on December 9, 2014. The chairman of the committee, Nathan Turner, is the athletic director of North Forsyth High School – a school in the same region and rival to Lambert High School. The family, once again, presented their case to the board. Dahlberg’s father explained how the excessive driving to GAC was impacting the family and his job. However the board once again apparently did not find this as a sufficient enough reason to grant eligibility. The message sent to the family simply said, “Denied.”
The family attempted to reach out to Gary Philips, the GHSA executive director for an explanation but only received the following reply: “Sir…Under GHSA by laws only the member school may seek appeals to Hardship ruling . Parents maynot appeal directly to the association.
Because of the ruling, Dahlberg will be ineligible for 2 years of his high school basketball career.