Turial Buol is an 18-year-old native of Sudan. He moved to Minnesota with his 32-year-old brother and his family. Turial's father is deceased and his mother remains in Sudan. The family resided in Faribault where Turial attended a nonpublic religious school his first 3 years in this country. When he entered 9th grade the family could not afford the nonpublic school and he attended the public school during 9th, 10th and 11th grades. Turial competed in basketball all three years while attending public school in Minnesota.
St. Mary's is a nonpublic school and is a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. It is located in Storm Lake. Turial had no objective counsel from a trusted adult when he made his decision to attend St. Mary's. He explained that in his brother's absence, he could not seek counsel from his brother's wife because to do so would be a sign of disrespect of his brother. Turial testified that he felt more at ease at St. Mary's because of the smaller class sizes and felt that he could get more one-on-one assistance from the teachers than at the public school in Storm Lake.
The IHSAA denied Turial eligibility because it saw Turial as a transfer student. This was not the case. Turial was not officially enrolled in either St. Mary's or the public school system until he enrolled at St. Mary's on Friday morning.
Under the facts of this case, it is not reasonable to treat Turial as a transfer student.
That the decision of the IHSAA's Board of Control made on September 20, 2004, was reversed.