Nine Capitol High School football players declared ineligible by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association can continue playing for the team at least until Sept. 27, a judge said Wednesday.
State District Judge Janice Clark, who issued a temporary restraining order last Thursday allowing the nine students to take part in a 52-6 loss that night to McKinley High School, said Wednesday the order will remain in effect until a Sept. 27 hearing.
Clark, who stated during Wednesday’s hearing that a lawsuit filed by the state Recovery School District against the LHSAA is “vague,” gave RSD attorneys Troy Humphrey and state Rep. Michael Jackson time to amend the suit.
The RSD took control of Capitol High in May after 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge Inc. returned the charter to operate the school.
By that time, however, more than 100 students, including some members of the football squad, had transferred to other schools amid rumors that Capitol would close.
The suit came after an LHSAA hardship committee voted 4-1 on Aug. 31 to deny a hardship ruling for eligibility to the players.
The student-athletes chose to return to the school after it was re-organized and taken over by the RSD. The LHSAA ruled that the players were ineligible because they broke their chain of attendance at Capitol.
“This is a very unique situation,’’ Jackson said after the hearing. “These students and parents acted reasonably.’’
LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson attended the hearing and said afterward the LHSAA has a special rule dealing with school closures, but LHSAA attorney Brad Lewis said the nine student-athletes ignored that rule and left the school based on “rumors.’’
Jackson argued during the hearing that the LHSAA violated the student-athletes’ due process rights. Humphrey argued the LHSAA’s actions have harmed the RSD’s ability to run Capitol High.
“There’s no allegation that any statutory right or any constitutional right was violated,’’ Lewis told the judge.
Jamar Robertson, Travis Hebert, Jonathan Banks, Christopher Williams, Joshua Claverie, Carl Carney, Javonta Rogers, D’Vondre Sullivan and D’Aunte Sullivan are the players involved.
The suit, filed on behalf of the players, seeks to reverse the LHSAA’s decision to bar them from rejoining the team.