Illinois High School Association lawsuit seeking to allow fall sports denied by judge

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A lawsuit filed by parents and student athletes against the Illinois High School Association seeking to allow fall sports has been denied.

A DuPage County judge issued the ruling Thursday, saying that because of the pandemic, what the IHSA did was within their authority under their bylaws and constitution.

The IHSA and Gov. J.B. Pritzker postponed football, soccer and volleyball until spring, saying they were too dangerous during the pandemic.

“Look I’m not a scientist, but I do know how to listen to the experts and follow the latest data,” Pritzker said. “Under no circumstances will I put children and their families at risk.”

All of Illinois’ neighboring states and many others around the country have allowed fall contact sports such as football to resume with no outbreaks.

The class-action lawsuit claimed the IHSA broke its own rules when it changed the sports calendar in July. The IHSA’s board of directors passed the Return to Play guidelines without taking a vote from all Illinois school members.

Some athletes are concerned they will miss out at a chance to play at the next level. At a recent “Let Us Play” press conference, Bryan Grimaldo, who plays soccer at Waubonsie High School, said some high school athletes need athletic scholarships.

“There are a lot of players who don’t have the financials to go to college and pay tuition,” Grimaldo said.

Football, soccer and volleyball are now scheduled to be played in thes spring. Washington High School football coach Darrell Crouch said he expects field conditions to be a nightmare during that time of the year.

“You are talking about a lot of money getting put back into facilities to fix their fields that are getting destroyed during February, March and April,” Crouch said.

Illinois is the only state in the Midwest not allowing high school football.

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