Ineligibility lawsuit, bidding wars and step downs

High School Athlete Sues To Recover Eligibility 

Friday mornings are typically quiet in the legal news, but there are a few noteworthy articles to consider. First, we start in California. High school senior Amir Ali Patterson is suing the California Interscholastic Federation – Southern Section (“CIF-SS”), regarding two semesters of athletic eligibility CIF-SS denied him last October. Patterson, a standout shot putter, has had an unusual path to high school. Patterson advanced a grade at a young age, but was pulled back when he entered ninth grade at Ivy Academia. The charter school proved to be difficult for Patterson, and later that year, he was home-schooled. The rule is that once a student begins ninth grade, the student has eight consecutive semesters to exhaust the student’s eligibility to compete in high school athletics. Once that time runs out, a student may no longer compete. Patterson triggered his eight semester eligibility when he attended Ivy Academia; the following year, he attended Crespi High School for three years (six semesters). According to CIF-SS, Patterson’s eligibility is over, and he is no longer allowed to compete in high school athletics.

Similar to the majority of rules in the life, there are exceptions. One exception CIF-SS offers is called a “hardship waiver.” A student may receive a hardship waiver if the student exhibits some form of “extenuating circumstance,” or a substantial reason to grant semesters back. Here, Patterson seeks a hardship waiver based on whether “the principal at the first high school confirms in writing that going back to the original grade would better serve the student’s overall development.” Patterson’s mother, Amina Fakir, believes that Patterson’s reversion to his natural grade was significant, given Patterson’s diagnosis of Asynchronous Development.  In short, Asynchronous Development, is a condition where “the intellectual, emotional and physical abilities fall out of sync…in theory, a 13-year-old with the condition could be a 16-year-old intellectually, a 13-year old. in terms of physical ability, and a 10-year-old in terms of maturity.” His condition explains why he had to pull out of Ivy Academia. Unfortunately for Patterson, CIF-SS denied his request and denied his appeal this past September and October, respectively. There are rumors speculating that the Los Angeles Superior Court will hear the case this Monday. Patterson’s attorney is David Greifinger, a well-known figure who has represented world-class athletes in the past.

Patterson signed his letter of intent to compete at UCLA on a track and field scholarship for this fall.

Kazakhstan Promises Cheaper Winter Games in 2022

The Winter Games are nearly complete, and Almaty, Kazakhstan is already using negative components of Sochi to make itself a more appealing bid for the Winter Games in 2022. No venue is chosen yet, but Almaty is one of five candidates to host the Games. The other contenders include Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Kkraine; and Oslo, Norway. Almaty lost in 2014 to Sochi, but believes it has a better shot this time. It claims to have “eight of the 12 venues required for the Olympics,” with two more that will be ready by 2017. Sochi cost Russia $51 billion dollars; Andrey Kryukov, an executive board member of Kazakhstan’s national Olympic body, maintains that their anticipated cost of the Winter Games will only run about $2-3 billion dollars. Almaty claims that costs are saved by “relying on existing venues,” a contrast against Russia’s scheme of building everything from the ground up. You can see how well that idea held up – ask the journalists. There is still time left for the five countries to do some tweaking and dealing; the IOC will narrow the finalist list in July (article isn’t clear whether it is July this year or next, but it would appear that it is July of this year), and the IOC will make its final selection on July 31, 2015.

Chief Executive of Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency Will Leave in May

Aurora Andruska, chief executive of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (“ASADA”), announced earlier this week that she will not renew her contract this May, effectively stepping down from the position. Andruska, who held this role since May 2010, oversaw the investigation of her predecessor, Richard Ings, which is known in Australia as “the darkest day in Australian sport” last February. Australian Sports Minister Peter Dutton spoke highly of Andruska’s long career in public service (37 years), and wished her well in the future.

Also in Australian news, Athletics Australia signed a new agreement with Adidas, replacing Asics as the official apparel and footwear supplier. In running health news, researchers recently discovered that simply running is not enough to reduce heart disease; “diet, stress reduction, other risk factors, and regular checkups” are the keys in keeping the risk of heart disease low.

An LGBT running club in the USA is showing support for the LGBT community in Russia by running enough miles to cover the distance between New York City and Moscow during the Olympic Games. They’re well above their goal already, and they have a few days to rack up even more before the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday.

In stupid news, or “news that shouldn’t be news,” three members of the Oklahoma Sooners were penalized for “for getting more food [pasta] at a graduation banquet than they should have.” Clearly, Oklahoma has a problem with hearty appetites. Oklahoma mandated the three gentlemen to “donate $3.83…to the charities of their choice” (they actually donated $5) o reinstate their eligibility…which, according to the NCAA, is not a violation. The perpetrators were not identified, but social media picked up on two of them, who were offensive lineman. Really?

In competition news, the USA Indoor Championships start today, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and run until Sunday evening. Finally, Bucknell University hosts the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships. The event goes off today at noon, and continues until Sunday evening. Go Bison!

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