MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – At a closed hearing on Wednesday, the SC High School League determined that the Goose Creek football team did not meet the standards for extraordinary conditions and would not be eligible to play in the playoff game on Friday, November 16 against Bluffton.
Goose Creek High School football coach Chuck Reedy, principal Jimmy Huskey and Superintendent Rodney Thompson presented their case to league administrators regarding the violation of league guidelines.
"This afternoon we decided that pursuing a legal course of action was appropriate and justifiable," Superintendent Rodney Thompson stated. "First, the punishment of our students does not fit the infraction; second, there was no intent to gain competitive advantage in play; third, there was no intent to deceive; and, fourth, the child in question should qualify for hardship consideration given his special qualifications."
The Joye Law Firm will be handling the legal considerations of the case at no cost to the district. Attorneys Ken Harrell and Chris McCool will seek to have Goose Creek High School reinstated to the playoffs.
Attorney Ken Harrell says they are asking for a temporary restraining order against the South Carolina High School League that would allow Goose Creek to play on Friday night.
At the heart of the controversy, a
special needs student with a transcript in question who was allowed to play for the
played in 17 plays during the entire season. He didn't make an appearance in a
single game until the sixth game of the season," said Harrell. "This kid was allowed to play to
really make this kid feel that he was a part of something
Harrell says the league may have violated federal law.
"There is a disabled
individuals' act of 2004 which states that if there's a disabled student up until
age 21, they should have the same ability to participate in sports activities as
any other student," stated Harrell.
Judge Roger Young, Ninth Circuit, has agreed to hear the motion on Friday, November 16 at 9 a.m., Berkeley County Courthouse, Courtroom E.
"We recognize that this is a difficult decision that may affect other teams," Thompson stated. "However, we must do what is right and honorable by all children. Coaches around the state have been extremely supportive of Coach Reedy. The league's decision undermines future fair play and will make self-reporting obsolete. The appeals process should make exceptions when there is clearly no competitive advantage gained.
"The Goose Creek community should be very proud of their team and their school. We teach lessons daily in integrity, honor, and sportsmanship – our kids deserve to have the best representation possible in this matter and we are committed to fighting for our kids."
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