HomeNewsStudent Athletes, Parents File Lawsuit Against Illinois High School Association for Cancelling Football

Student Athletes, Parents File Lawsuit Against Illinois High School Association for Cancelling Football

by Jennifer Shea
Ben Hasty/Getty Images

Student athletes and parents in Illinois are suing the Illinois High School Association to be able to play fall sports.

They are planning to file the class action lawsuit in DuPage County. DuPage had reported 17,542 coronavirus cases and 561 deaths as of September 28. The county has a population of about 916,924.

Student athletes seek restraining order

The plaintiffs want to get a restraining order to prevent the state from enforcing its ban on most fall sports, ABC 7 reported. Parents and athletes gathered at the courthouse Monday morning. They also protested in front of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Gold Coast home on Sunday.

“Other states are able to do so and we just haven’t figured it out yet,” Wheaton-Warrenville South High School senior Jaylen Brown told ABC 7. “So yeah, I’m a little frustrated about that, but trying to keep my hopes up and pray for the best.”

Governor Pritzker has said his scientific advisors, including Chicago doctors, just don’t think it’s safe to play contact sports in the fall. 

Illinois is currently the only state in the Midwest that is not allowing football, according to NBC 5.

IHSA rules broken

The lawsuit will argue that the IHSA failed to follow its own rules when it moved fall sports to spring 2021. The plaintiffs say such a decision requires a vote of the member schools, WGN reported.

Some parents and coaches interviewed at Governor Pritzker’s mansion said they blame Pritzker more than the IHSA for the decision. The executive director of the IHSA sent the governor a letter in mid-September asking him to allow the IHSA to set a timeline for sports to return to the field, as they have in other states.

“Decisions are being made state by state as you know,” Pritzker said, according to WGN. “And we’ve seen bad decisions being made that have led to significant health consequences.”