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Montclair Prep decision will test recruiting rules

July 18, 2011 |  3:09 pm

The decision of Van Nuys Montclair Prep to drop its sports programs makes students with eligibility left almost free agents. But it doesn't mean other schools can start calling them, trying to convince them to come to their schools.

That's illegal recruiting, so it will be interesting to see how schools try to get the word out they are interested through third parties or friends. The players will get automatic eligibility when they transfer,  as long as no recruiting was involved.

What's clear is that current Montclair Prep students were stunned at the decision. Families are scrambling to try to figure out what to do next.

There are lots of top athletes who could make an impact next season depending on where they end up, none more important than pitcher Max Fried, a UCLA commit. Under CIF rules, the athletes can switch schools without losing eligibility.

Imagine if Fried decides to transfer to Studio City Harvard-Westlake, where his friend, pitcher Lucas Giolito, another UCLA commit, goes to school. That would be the best one-two pitching combination in Southern California.

But when I reached Fried on Monday, he had no idea what he would be doing. Nick Suniga, a junior baseball player who lives in Granada Hills, said he will consider other private schools in the area as an option.

Montclair Prep coaches who will be out of a job are expected to help their players land at other schools.

-- Eric Sondheimer