What You Need To Know About The IHSA Lawsuit

A global pandemic. The loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Fires. Hurricanes. The year 2020 sure has had its fair share of bizarre events. And now, thanks to a few high school athletes and their parents, you can add an IHSA lawsuit to the mix.

On Tuesday, September 29th, a group of Illinois high school student-athletes and parents filed a class action lawsuit against the IHSA. Their goal for the suit was to force the Illinois High School Association to reinstate fall sports. This comes after the IHSA’s decision to modify its sports schedule for the 2020-21 school year. In July, the board of directors decided to move all of the fall contact sports to the spring. This meant that team sports like football, boys soccer, and girls volleyball would all have delays in their season. Unfortunately, their decision wasn’t taken very lightly. 

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The IHSA Fall Sports Lawsuit Breakdown

Approximately 20 students are listed as plaintiffs in the IHSA lawsuit. According to the suit, they claim that the decisions made by the IHSA to postpone certain fall sports has “caused mental health issues and financial hardships” for athletes and their families. And there might be some truth to that. Most student-athletes are extremely dedicated to the sport they participate in, and many look forward to starting a new season along with the school year. The IHSA’s decision makes it hard for athletes eager to play after a summer of lockdown, and it can be even harder for those in their senior year. For the upcoming graduates, the fall sports season is potentially their last shot at giving everything they have in their sport. Some may have been working towards earning a scholarship to go to their dream school. Others may be looking forward to taking the field one last time with their friends. Regardless of who they were, it’s clear that many student-athletes were hurt by the IHSA’s choice to postpone certain fall sports.

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2020-21 #IHSA Sports Schedule

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A Quick Decision

Unfortunately for the student-athletes, DuPage County Circuit Judge Paul Fullerton denied their request for a restraining order to reinstate the fall sports programs. His reasoning for the decision is largely due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. “We are in a pandemic and I think what the IHSA did was within their authority under the [organization’s] by-laws and constitution,” said Fullerton when speaking on the IHSA’s decision.

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While it’s not the ruling that the student-athletes were looking for in the IHSA lawsuit, hopefully, they will come to terms with the judge’s decision. They might not get the fall sports they were looking forward to, but come springtime there’s a good chance that they’ll forget all about it when they take the field.

 

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Featured Image Credit: IHSA

 

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