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Kitna’s son, Jordan, ruled ineligible for varsity football at Lincoln

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Aug. 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm with 6 Comments »
August 24, 2012 8:44 pm
Jon Kitna

A few bumps in the road of first-year coaching were expected, but Lincoln High’s Jon Kitna did not expect the first real issue to come out of his own household.

The news was not favorable Thursday morning when Kitna learned that his oldest son, Jordan, lost his West Central District eligibility hearing, and cannot participate in varsity athletics at Lincoln for the 2012-13 season.

Jordan Kitna is a ninth grader at Lincoln, and was in line to be the school’s starting varsity quarterback for its season opener Sept. 1 at Bonney Lake.

“He took (the news) better than me,” Jon Kitna said after practice Friday. “It felt like I got punched in my throat.”

After retiring from a 15-year NFL career, Jon Kitna was hired in January to coach his alma mater’s football program at Lincoln, where he is also a math teacher.

Because Kitna’s family lives in Lakewood, and out of the Tacoma Public Schools’ district, in order for Jordan to play varsity athletics with the Abes, the Kitnas had to appeal for a waiver of what is commonly known as the “junior varsity” rule.

Out-of-district student transfers are required to sit out a year of varsity athletics at the high-school level, but would be eligible to play on the junior varsity.

Appeals of the JV rule are generally based on a unique set of circumstances.

A 12-person district eligibility committee, made up of athletic directors, heard the Kitna family’s hardship case Wednesday night in Fife – and denied the waiver appeal a day later.

When reached Friday, WCD eligibility chairman Tom Reardon declined comment on Kitna’s case, citing confidentiality reasons.

The Kitnas have filed paperwork for another appeal, this time at the state level with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. A hearing in Renton could come as soon as next week.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. slarssen says:

    Interesting. A few questions:

    1. What is the history of these waivers for the past ten years and how often have they denied a waiver?
    2. What is the composition of the WCD, or more specifically, who sits on this body?
    3. What is each person’s affiliation and how did each person vote?

    This is a body that makes decisions about public school athletics. There may be good reason for the denial but a public explanation is in order.

  2. Theyll get the waiver. The WIAA has no guts to say no to anything involving eligibility. This is actually a case that makes sense for a kid to play at a different school than where he is supposed to go. What a waste of time for the WCD to say no. Actually surprised since they very rarely say no either.

  3. Nicedad2000 says:

    I applaud the Kitna’a for trying to do this the right way. Too often we see athletes transfer to high schools with favorable athletic programs using fake addresses or claiming they live with Uncle Pete in an apartment next to the new school.

  4. blackops says:

    Mr.Kitna leave it alone let the the schools conduct their athletics accordingly. With all do respect i never played pro. football i played semi pro. and team players don’t like favoritism… unless your the team that wins right!

  5. Kysteffens says:

    This has nothing to do with Kitna’s pro career.

    The current transfer rules really don’t prevent most of the sports related transfers out there..just look at the local basketball scene. In this case I find it sad that the son of a football coach/teacher at a public school is not allowed to play varsity at the school his father coaches at.

  6. THRILL51 says:

    BlackOps that fact that you even bring up the fact you played Semi Pro is laughable. Most coaches worth their salt will hold their own kid to a higher standard to make sure there is not even a hint of favoritism. Maybe in your “Semi Pro” playing days it happened to you. I’m sorry. Good luck L TRAIN and good Luck Jordan.

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