CHELAN — Chelan star athlete Michael Amsel Jr.’s appeal to a district committee to regain his eligibility as a student-athlete at Chelan High School has been rejected, according to Chelan superintendent Rob Manahan.
According to an e-mail sent to the World by Manahan on Thursday, the North Central Washington Activities Association District 6 eligibility committee held a hearing to listen to Amsel’s case on Wednesday evening.
“This is not a school district body or one that Lake Chelan gives input to, but is purely between Michael and the (committee),” Manahan wrote. “For your information, as of (Thursday), the appeal was denied.”
However, Amsel still has a chance to regain his athletic eligibility. He could take his appeal directly to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, according to WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese.
“The next level is that if somebody wants to appeal (the district committee’s) decision, he or she would contact this office and request a hearing with our hearing officer,” Colbrese told the World on Thursday. “An officer would be assigned and hear the case. The officer would then meet with me and make a recommendation.
“Given the visibility of this situation, my guess is that it would get appealed here, but I don’t know. By rule I have to stay away from these types of cases until they’re appealed here. I’m the last person to make the decision.”
Chelan football coach Darren Talley told the World on Thursday that Amsel is “considering all of his options.”
“I did talk to him (Thursday),” Talley said. “(Appealing to the WIAA) is a strong possibility.”
Talley said that Amsel is trying to prove that he has a “hardship case.” According to rule 18.25.0 in the WIAA official handbook, “Any waiver of student eligibility regulations shall be based upon extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s, or where applicable, the parents’ or legal guardians’ control, that are deemed to have significantly influenced or contributed to the cause of the student’s non-compliance to the eligibility regulation(s) involved.”
Last month, Manahan told the World that Amsel isn’t eligible to play sports at Chelan High School due to his status as a transfer student. He moved to California after the 2011 football season had concluded and finished the school year there. He moved back to Chelan over the summer and enrolled at Chelan High School for his senior year.
Earlier this month, the Chelan School district board of directors approved Amsel’s case at a special meeting, clearing the way for Amsel to practice with the team and present his case to the eligibility committee. Amsel had hoped to be on the field tonight for the Goats’ game at Cascade.
Scott Brown, Cashmere High School’s athletic director, is the chairman of the District 6 eligibility committee. Colbrese said that he has encouraged eligibility chairmen to refrain from publicly commenting on ongoing cases.
Amsel, a quarterback, linebacker and kick returner, led Chelan to the state 1A quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons in 2011, earning a selection to the all-state 1A team as an honorable mention. He was an all-Caribou Trail League basketball player during his sophomore season as well.
Talley said he’d prefer to not to divulge any more details about Amsel’s case as long as it’s ongoing, although he did say that, “He’s still an 18-year-old kid, and he wants to have everything that 18-year-olds have. He’s no different.”