Really weird story in Jersey via The Star Ledger:
The parents of Anthony Starego — the autistic kicker from Brick High who became a sensation when he booted a game-winning field goal against Toms River North in October — are suing the state’s governing body for high school athletics, claiming their son’s civil rights were violated when he was not granted a fifth year of eligibility.
Why I think it’s weird is I don’t see what the parents’ argument is. The student in question played four years and contributed on the high school squad despite the fact he “has a number of cognitive and developmental issues and functions academically like a 10 year old.”
They (the parents) argue:
It’s been instrumental,” he said. “But he’s got a lot more work to do. Life is going to be very difficult for him. As many tools as we can give him through age 21 in school that he can get is only going to benefit him and the struggle that he’s going to have when school is over.
The piece fails to note what the current standard for scholastic athletics is. It would appear at face value that the student is being afforded the same eligibility as any other student-athlete. So how is this violating his civil rights?
Further, I recall days of playing high school sports when all potential student-athletes were required in the state of NJ to take physicals in order to be eligible to play in the given school year. I do not recall any lawsuits when those who failed were not granted the opportunity to play.
There are also academic standards that are required to be met to play high school sports. Again, due to the lack of clarity on the article’s part, I am not sure what the precedence is, but if you have a fifth year of eligibility, one can assume you were left behind a grade, thereby nullifying said eligibility from an academic standpoint, no?