A lengthy discussion led to a compromise that will allow quarterback Marquise Darensbourg to play part of the 2015 season at East St. John High.
The LHSAA executive committee considered a variety of options along the way during the Thursday hearing at the LHSAA office. At one point, motions were made to both overturn and uphold LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine’s decision to rule Darensbourg ineligible after transferring from Destrehan High.
Ultimately, the committee voted to allow Darensbourg to begin competing on Oct. 1, a year after he moved into the East St. John school zone with his father.
“They listened and they considered the situation with this kid,” East St. John coach Alden Foster said. “That’s what we’re excited about. In the past rulings like this have pretty much been open and shut. You didn’t have a chance.
“They took the time to consider the situation and to do what’s best for this kid. There was a hardship here. People don’t understand that this isn’t like college, there are no redshirt years. This is his junior year and he’ll have the chance to play part of it.”
Darensbourg started 13 of 14 games for Class 5A runner-up Destrehan last fall as a sophomore and passed for 1,396 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for 595 yards and seven more TDs.
The case was complicated by the fact that Darensbourg chose to continue attending Destrehan for several months after moving in with his father because of a financial hardship.
Foster told the committee that the troublesome commute prompted Malcolm Darensbourg to enroll his son at ESJHS in February. Statements made in the media by Darensbourg that the family says were misconstrued and the fact that the parents alter their custody agreement last March to ensure he could play also clouded the discussion.
At one point, the committee asked if the case should be considered a hardship by its hardship committee.
East St. John contended that the parents altered the custody agreement in attempt to follow LHSAA rules after contacting the LHSAA office. They denied that the move was made for athletic purposes. The family refuted written statements from Destrehan which noted that there was issues over split playing time.
“I’m relieved,” Malcolm Darensbourg said.
A smiling Darensbourg added, “I’m just happy I get to play.”