Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting interscholastic athletics in West Virginia out of the courts of law and onto the playing fields/courts.

In the recent Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia decision of SER W. Va. Secondary School Activity Comm. v. Webster, Judge , the Supreme Court held that the Circuit Court exceeded its jurisdiction in determining the SSAC officials misapplied its own rules, when those officials suspended several players involved in the South Charleston High School v. Hurrican High School football playoff game on November 19, 2010. In addition, it appears this Supreme Court decision was intended to (and will almost certainly thwart) future litigation on questioning whether the game officials should have made the appropriate calls during a game sanctioned by the SSAC.

As the Supreme Court noted in said decision:

"[T]here was no claim in this case that the ejection or suspension rules were unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious. By superimposing its judgment on how the SSAC applied its own rules with regard to handling ejections and suspensions, the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction. Simply put, the trial court lacked any authority to engage in a review of the SSAC’s decision to suspend the respondent players pursuant to its properly promulgated rules."

Hopefully, this would put a stop to the disturbing number of lawsuits initiated in the past several years in various West Virginia courts that attempt to use those who wear the black robes to work, to also wear the zebra stripe shirt underneath.


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