Ex-Mililani hoopster sues DOE, OIA on transfer rule

Jalen Miller, seen here trying to defend Kapolei's Zoar Nedd last year, wants to transfer from Mililani to Kapolei. Cindy Ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.com.

Two years plus after the Oahu Interscholastic Association implemented its landmark transfer rule, there is a challenger.

The parents of Mililani basketball player Jalen Miller have filed suit against the OIA and Department of Education, seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. The hearing will be held on Nov. 14 in First Circuit Court before Judge Dean E. Ochiai.

The suit, brought by attorney Eric Seitz on behalf of Earl and Josliene Miller, seeks to overrule the OIA’s decision to prevent Jalen Miller, a Mililani student-athlete, from playing basketball at his new school, Kapolei.

Earl Miller states that because of a change of job location, he is unable to transport Jalen from Kapolei, their home district, to Mililani, where Earl Miller previously was employed. A statement from Earl Miller’s employer, BAYADA Home Health Care, notes that he was required to switch to the company’s Leeward district office due to “client needs.”

Jalen Miller currently is enrolled at Kapolei, but OIA rules stipulate that the must sit out one calendar year before becoming eligible to play basketball. He is eligible to play other sports that he did not participate in at Mililani, where he attended under a district exemption last year.

In the suit, Seitz states: “Because J.M. is a gifted athlete who aspires to attend college on a basketball scholarship, his inability to compete as a junior in high school is likely to affect his opportunities to play in college.”

The OIA denied his request.


  1. Alpha November 9, 2017 5:54 pm

    Yes, let this get as big as possible to show how old and stubborn the rules here are. Take away from the kids for what? The level of competition will lean towards certain schools? Other schools lose money cause no team? Yea I’m gonna go with money, something this state hungers for ie: rail, biki, $5 bus transfers, walking with a cell phone, The Kealoha’s court tab. . .

  2. Big Mauka November 9, 2017 6:13 pm

    I feel for this kid, even the OIA ILH deal sucks too. But then you also have those abuse the system an stack team’s too, so this is gonna be interesting. Same with my kid football D1 kid stuck in a D2 district, what scout goes to these schools to find a kid like this then you send videos an the scout tells you ah he looks goid if course he’s playing D2 kids yikes!

  3. Grabum.by.da.puppy November 9, 2017 6:15 pm

    this seem like an exceptoin he shuld play, gud luck miller ohana

  4. Big One November 9, 2017 6:25 pm

    Big Makua: you are mental and have no clue. Not as much but a bunch of D2 kids get full rides. Maybe not yours, but many do. Don’t put down the D2 schools. If you good, you good, no matter what school.

  5. TooMeke November 9, 2017 6:57 pm

    “how old and stubborn the rules here are”???

    it’s a 2-year old rule… it’s a good rule… apparently Millz football team is not suffering despite the rule.

    this kid’s situation may be an exception…the court will decide.

  6. Say NO to politics in HS Sports November 9, 2017 7:00 pm

    I’m conflicted about this… My kid as well as some others, potentially lost a spot on a varsity sports team this year because of a similar situation.

    My daughter, now a senior, played with the program all four years, we live in the district she’s not there on a District Exemption because of sports. A girl who had played varsity for three years at school in different district with a much weaker program decided to move with her other parent (divorced) who lived in our district at the end of her junior year. So although she was a returning student her senior year, she played her junior year at a different school. She should have been red shirted this year but was granted an exception to play by the AD & OIA.

    That situation was total BS but it is what it is right? I personally feel that the red-shirt rules by the OIA should be adhered to & there should be NO EXCEPTIONS. But really it’s all politics right!!! If the AD for the school & the Coach who heads the program are only about building a “winning” team, there not gonna do what’s right or fair for the kids. Don’t know who the BB coach is at Kapolei but I know that the AD there must have ALOT of integrity, what other program would willingly forfeit a win due to ineligible players without being questioned. I know my daughter’s school WOULD NOT!!!

  7. 82 November 9, 2017 7:22 pm

    Thank Miano for this guys!

    Sucks the kid gotta sit out. Hopefully OIA and DOE can work something out that doesn’t affect all transfer athletes.

  8. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 9, 2017 7:50 pm

    Big Mucka you’ve never recruited for any college so don’t talk about things that you conjure up in your little brain! Coaches are looking at film to see how they perform, they don’t care if it’s DI or DII they know your competition is still a challenge. Then if you look good on tape then they look at your grades, it don’t matter where you play but it’s important you play because there’s no film for no playing. I hate people who don’t know what the hell they talking about!

  9. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 9, 2017 7:57 pm

    Jallen Miller keep your ass at Kapolei you aren’t leaving the island, and busses still run there so go Hurricanes! I hate unloyal basketball players who think they can just transfer and brake rules and expect to play because why your momma n daddy filing suite against OIA? I hope judge rules against you, then if you return to Kapolei, coach is going to bench you for your selfish act! I hate selfish basketball players!

  10. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 9, 2017 8:08 pm

    82… isn’t that Coach Rich Miano who built and recruited a team in his 1st year coaching and won a DII State Championship? Then moved up the next season to DI and eventually toppled the Kahuku RR’s that year and all the Alumni like yourself vowed to be sour and blame him for the rest of your lives for anything that would result to someone becoming successful in playing for another School?! I hate sour losers!

  11. Pohakuloa November 9, 2017 8:09 pm

    I think the issue here and what it will come down to is that his home address didn’t change and he was on GE to attend Mililani. Though I agree that it is NOT a good situation for this young man, this whole making of the situation seems to have been brought on by his parents initially for their own convenience. Yes situations change, but the fact his home address didn’t also change districts added to the GE, it’s clear (although unfortunate) why the family’s initial request would have been denied by the OIA.

    If the family had moved from in Mililani district into the Kapolei district citing the same reasons with no GE involved, the request may have been granted.

  12. Hello November 9, 2017 8:22 pm

    Did you people see all the transfers from St Louis who got to play football this year!
    Schools make exceptions, depending on WHO you are and WHERE you transferring from!

  13. RKellz November 9, 2017 9:03 pm


    The D2 label and how it affects recruiting status amongst Div 1 schools, IMHO, completely varies by sports. I think in sports like football, baseball, maaaybe volleyball, playing D2 in Hawai’i shouldn’t really dampen a prospect’s appeal to Div 1 college coaches. However, I think the one obvious sport where this is the case is boys’ basketball. At our highest level, we are considered a 2-star state. I do know of college coaches who have lost interest in players because they’ve found out they were playing Div 2 at the hs level in Hawai’i for bball. I’m not saying there aren’t diamonds in the rough and overlooked players, but to play bball in Hawai’i is hard enough to get a look by a college coach, playing at the lower level makes it even tougher.

  14. Alpha November 9, 2017 9:36 pm

    @toomeke yea, old and stubborn. . . Get with the times. Kids need any avenue they can use to get up out of this expensive rock. Transfer rule needs to go, oahu so small, alumni cry so damn much about their alma mater and forget about the kids who just want to have a future. Ppl always make excuses like, “if your good they’ll see you” or “should play for community and defend the valley crap” or any other excuse but the fact is you selfish homers just want your school to win a literally meaningless championship game. We come on here, post our opinions on who wins or not and so on, but some of you (like yourself toomeke) just have your school pride shoved so far up ur a$$ I wonder if you even have a life. Millz must taste good cause it’s always coming out your mouth.

  15. 20Mule November 10, 2017 6:01 am

    They should allow transferring but student has to have a higher GPA to participate. Education first.

  16. Kamehameha#1 November 10, 2017 6:05 am

    if they are going from one public school to another, its a different story. Hawaii have public school in your area for a reason. if you ger GE to go to another public school because of sports, too bad, sit out. If you want to compete in the OIA, represent your home school and be proud! Just my opinion!

  17. Alpha November 10, 2017 6:23 am

    Anybody got a better excuse why transfer rule should stay other then “play for your home school”, or any other petty reason? Because their is a Lot of examples of why transfers benefit from playing at a different school. But I’ll wait to hear the cry baby parents manini excuse why first. . . Cause right now some of the poster sound like they still live within 5miles of their alma mater. . .

  18. rrforlifebaby November 10, 2017 7:19 am

    You would think that since they actually live in Kapolei, they would make an exception.

  19. Old School Parenting November 10, 2017 7:44 am

    Bus no work anymore? I know lots of kids who travel much further than Kapolei to Mililani. IMO… they just trying to find a way to skirt the rule. That’s the problem of this generation… spend more time trying to skirt a rule than figuring out how to make the boy successful at Mililani. If was my son, his rear end would be waking up at 0500 to get ready and to catch the bus to Mililani…. that’s if he wants to play that bad. Some folks used to call that “dedication”. I believe some kids from private schools do that everyday. They wake up early and travel far to go to school. God bless those who work through obstacles to achieve their desires.

  20. ??? November 10, 2017 8:26 am

    If coaches, principals and teachers don’t need to sit out a year to transfer, why should the Keiki?
    Stupid Rule!!!

  21. TARHEELS November 10, 2017 8:47 am

    This player is actually good friends with a lot of the kapolei players and his dad is always with the other kapolei players dads at the games.
    The bottom line is Mililani made a GE exception for him and it didn’t work out for him so now he wants to transfer back to kapolei gimme a break.
    That’s is why the OIA made this rule so student Athletes who aren’t satisfied with where they stand decides to play somewhere else .

  22. Lowtone123 November 10, 2017 8:47 am

    I know why the rule was enacted but this is where the OIA needs to use some common sense. Yeah some people can conjure up all kinds of information for their own benefit but unless you have proof you have to take it at face value. Jalen was going to Mililani because his dad worked there so Jalen had a way to commute there and back. His reason for playing there and not his “home school” is his reason. But his dad was relocated and this now makes commuting to Mililani difficult for Jalen. Now it can be said that this problem was their own making, He could have played at Kapolei all along and if he is good enough college coaches and recruiters will find you.

  23. Casual Observer November 10, 2017 8:50 am

    Channel 2 “Always Investigating” once did an analysis on District Exemptions for all exemptions. When one assumes sports, particularly football, would be the number one and greatest reason for transfers, it turned out the most transfers went to Moanalua HS for its music program! District exceptions rules have been long established so if a student meets these requirements, why not just let them play instead of being punished and if the situation is clear where the rules are not being abused? In most cases, hopefully the student/family/school benefits. For those kids that play for Miano, they probably received an experience that could not be gained elsewhere.

  24. TARHEELS November 10, 2017 8:52 am

    I’m also know of this former player who played her 10th grade year at Moanalua then her 11th grade year at leileihua then 12th grade year st Mililani all the reason being was she just wasn’t satisfied at each coach of each school.
    That is why the OIA has adopted this rule.

  25. Whhy November 10, 2017 10:54 am

    Is there a standard as to how you can get a GE? Because if he met the condition to get the GE in the first place then going back to his “home” school should be no problem including playing sports. You shouldn’t be punished for going to where you were supposed to be playing in the first place. What they need to do is make it really, really hard to get a GE to play elsewhere. That’s really where the problem is.

  26. Old School Parenting November 10, 2017 12:20 pm

    GE and sports are two different things. Just cause you get GE doesn’t mean you can play. It depends… so long as the kid never play the sport at the previous school during the school year prior to the transfer. So, if you plan to transfer after your freshman year… then in your freshman year, don’t play the sport that you want to play at the next school during sophomore year. It’s called “Planning”…
    ILH schools deal with it, and you never hear them crying about it. If a kid played football at Damien his sophomore year… then transfers to Kamehameha his junior year. Guess what… he sits his junior year. No crying, no suing, they knew the rule before they transferred.
    This kid in the article… he could’ve stayed at Mililani. He chose to transfer. Hardship on commuting…. omg… please come up with a better one. I know a lot of kids who had to get up early and catch the bus because they had a GE to go to another school or friends that went to an ILH school. So don’t pull the…. too hard… brotha… others been there, don’t that.
    Besides.. this rule is awesome because it makes it much more difficult for “Recruiting”… the very thing everyone is complaining about!

  27. leron November 10, 2017 12:49 pm

    While we’re at it, can we also put an end to schools that bring in players from off island just for the season, help take their team to the state championship, and then they return home after the season Is done?

  28. Choke Knowledge November 10, 2017 1:05 pm

    Let em play where they want to. That’s why we have divisions. Put the perennial powerhouse teams in one division, the rest in another. Guarantee many patents who “think” their kid is the best will regret sending their kid to sit on the bench at a powerhouse school. Why hold back a student athletically when our school system is already holding them back academically?

  29. Whhy November 10, 2017 1:23 pm

    Old School, you mean the kid was supposed to know his parent wasn’t going to be able to take him to school anymore cause his work a year later would change? I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a rule or that he should be able to play.

    The problem is that he was easily able to get that GE in the first place, they should have told him then. Bruddah you live out in Kapolei so go to school there. They have a school bus to take you to and from school. There have been millions and millions of $$$ put into the school where you live. If we were to let everyone transfer to any school they want you would overload certain schools and some of the less desirable schools would be empty and be a waste. Stay in your lanes people, its either go to you home school or pay for private school there is no in between.

  30. Seymour Butts November 10, 2017 2:31 pm

    Kapolei gonna need reinforcements this year when OIA playoffs come around anyway so let the young man play. The OIA East gonna be stacked again.

  31. Norman Kaaihue November 10, 2017 6:32 pm

    If they change the rule then kids can change schools every year. Why didn’t this kid just stay at Kapolei in the first place. Just be use his dad worked in Mililani he did not have to go there. Now the dad gets sent back to Mililani he going transfer again. Give me a break.

  32. MePlayJoke November 10, 2017 10:19 pm

    ^^^Right. If this lawsuit goes against the OIA/D.O.E., this is gonna open the floodgate for kids transferring all over.

  33. HBoy November 10, 2017 10:31 pm

    Alpha would like an open enrollment rule so kids can transfer and play where they would like to. I can see power schools developing in certain sports that would compete with ilh big boys and the schools that struggle will become D3. Sounds interesting.

  34. 2dahouse November 11, 2017 2:18 am

    Rules are the rules.
    You’ll never be able to satisfy everyone’s situation.
    I feel bad for the kid, but if you make one exception then you need to accept all exceptions to transfer.

    Also, try ask the Laie kids that go private school what time they wake up for their morning commute.

  35. Kamehameha#1 November 11, 2017 5:04 am

    TARHEELS November 10, 2017 8:52 am
    “I’m also know of this former player who played her 10th grade year at Moanalua then her 11th grade year at leileihua then 12th grade year st Mililani all the reason being was she just wasn’t satisfied at each coach of each school.
    That is why the OIA has adopted this rule.”
    I hope family know what they are doing! they ended up moving to Arizona and the poor girl was playing for a D-3 school. Hopefully the kids are adjusting well in the Mainland. Why would you leave Moanalua after being accepted on a GE?

  36. Be carefull what you ask for November 13, 2017 10:55 pm

    Come on now. I bet a very high percentage of people work out of their districts. Are we saying that we are ok with allowing kids to attend schools where their parents work? Better be careful, because if that’s the case, I know of at least 40 guys that work at Halawa Corrections from the North Shore. I guess Aiea, will be the next Football powerhouse…..and then, because of this lawsuit, if they don’t like it at Aiea, they can just go back to Kahuku. Once you make an exception for one person, for work or convenience, you have to allow it for others as well. You guys knew the rule before you even went to Mililani, but now you want to change schools because Kapolei is the better basketball school, this year between the two…..Did I read correctly? A Basketball scholarship is the motivation? Holy crap are you serious? You should have lied and found classes that were offered at Kapolei and not Mililani or an excuse more academically than that……STUDENT-ATHLETE people……Student comes first…..

    Only (4) guys got scholarships last year…..One, 6’10 from Iolani (former player of the year), one 6’8″ from Kahuku (via New Zealand and a member of the Tall Blacks National system), one 6’7″ from Kahuku (State Champion from Utah the previous year), one 6’0″ PG, (Player of the year in West Virginia and Hawaii) Gatorade Player of the Year. Out of all the players, only these 4……….By the way, ALL FOUR (from past news articles and google) were honor roll students…..the PG was in the National Honor Society……School first people….

  37. Whhy November 14, 2017 11:48 am

    Be careful what you ask for… It wouldn’t matter if he said he wanted to go to Kapolei because of the classes. The point is he wants to play there. That requires something that even the GE couldn’t give him. Like ive been saying they should have never given him the GE to begin with and made him attend his school of district. That’s where the problem is it was too easy to get the exemption.

  38. Shakadat November 14, 2017 8:17 pm

    when Millilani had a team Contending for the OIA and State Title he wanted to go and play for them. Now that the Millilani team is not So good this year and Kapolei’s Team is Contending for the OIA and State Title He wants to go back and play for Kapolei….Go Figure….Gimme a Break.!!

  39. Hapa November 15, 2017 9:55 pm

    The family is lying. They didn’t HAVE to change districts because of client need they did it because they opened a new office and it was more convenient for the lazy employees (mom and dad). The rules were set and they were aware of them but decided to switch schools anyway. So… deal with it. I hope the judge sees through this lying, manipulative family

  40. Nunya November 16, 2017 1:26 pm

    @hapa – You sound stupid. If the family already lives in Kapolei, it’s his home school. I hope he is able to play and shut people like you up.

  41. reyn chong December 5, 2017 12:19 am

    @tarheels you think you know, but you don’t know anything about this family… summer basketball a lot of kids play together you of all people should know that considering your team… or is it just players from Maryknoll? maybe thats why Maryknoll can’t win a state title… Oh let talk about recruiting with all the recruiting Maryknoll does OMG and still can’t win a championship… stop it… SHHH you should really keep your mouth shut!

    Now lets talk Hawaii basketball people… Is it even relevant… No… Just like the educational system, dead last…
    How is it that we have 3 div2 schools and 1 D1 school and none of them actively recruit Hawaii kids??? the kids they have recruited is because they want the local $$, not because the kid will actually contribute to the team…
    Why is that? Because the coaches, and the leagues here suck, most are really bad… I mean the private schools have developed teams that suck its called varsity 2&3… Sad… Have you been to these intermediate games around the state lately? It brutal… Have you observed some of these coaches, what are they teaching these kids… Not much…

    now lets face it, there are a lot of schools on this island that will never be good (especially basketball wise) so why would you force a kid to stay in a situation like that if he/she wants to get better or have an opportunity to be better (in any sport)… Now Mililani with that coaching staff, they won’t be good for a long time with that coaching staff, but lets face it has Mililani ever contended for a state title? How about Kapolei? So who the hell cares if a kid transfers from one team that sucks to another?..

    The state has an issue with PRIDE over PROGRESS…
    lets talk about all these coaches who stay in jobs because their buddy is the AD or principle, or alumni, even though they keep losing… Do coaches get fired around here for losing? Lets talk about how so many kids have to watch other kids play in front of them because of the “buddy” system in our state… You know the Uncle, Auntie Alumni cousin, braddah syndrome lets talk about all the kids that left Hawaii before graduation because of this system and GOT BETTER and was better off leaving… lets talk about the real issue people…
    the rule is under developed just like a lot of stuff in our state.. Its really stupid because its not clear and it has a lot of loop holes… like this one! so lets talk about the real issues, because these parents fighting for what they believe is right for there son aint it… OPEN YA EYES HAWAII

  42. Vee December 25, 2017 4:45 am

    Rules regarding athletics is usually created by non athletic people trying to politicize the playing field. I sure hope this family wins, this lawsuit. Maybe itll break open the illuminati of Hawaii High School Athletics.. This is a DOE matter but theres no mention of OIA or HHSSAA? Oh but yet these are the leagues and associations governing the athletics in Hawaii High Schools..Did you know the HHSSAA is a non profit thats not even a part of DOE? Yet theyre profiting from all the State Tournaments, etc..Why is that?

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