J. Thomas McNamara
A group of student-athletes and parents plan filed their class action lawsuit last Tuesday, Sept. 29, against the Illinois High School Association as they aim to allow fall sports to resume amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
The suit was filed in DuPage County and will list the IHSA as the primary defendant. The suit was filed Wednesday.
A total of 20 students are expected to be listed as plaintiffs in the suit, which will seek a temporary restraining order ordering the state to allow fall sports to get underway.
The suit alleges that prohibitions on some fall sports, including football and volleyball, violates the IHSA’s constitution and bylaws, and has “caused mental health issues and financial hardships” for athletes and their families, according to the press release.
Specifically, the suit alleges that the decision to postpone fall sports will have negative financial impacts on both students and parents, as they will fall behind in their ability to compete for athletic scholarships to make college more affordable.
The IHSA, along with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, have remained adamant that contact sports like football and volleyball will be pushed to spring as a result of the pandemic.
Other states around Illinois have begun playing football, leaving the state as the only one in the Midwest not currently allowing high school football to take place.
Pritzker has said that he has remained in close contact with infectious disease experts, and says that the decision to push those sports back to the spring is based on their recommendations.
The IHSA released this statement, “We are aware of the lawsuit, but have not yet had an opportunity to review it. We will have no further comment until we have a chance to review it with our legal counsel.”
This isn’t just about football, this is about volleyball and we have a local team, St. Teresa, wanting to defend its volleyball championship which they won’t get to do at the present time because the IHSA already has said there won’t be state championship series.
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.