Father sues Maine school for keeping son off baseball team

April 6, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationBaseball
The father of a Portland (Maine) high school baseball player is suing the district for not allowing his son to play for the team this season.

A judge is expected to hear the case next week and determine whether to force the district to allow Howard Yee’s son to play on the Deering High School baseball team, provided the student meets all academic requirements.

What’s at issue is the student’s eligibility. The student was home-schooled until last year, when he enrolled in some classes at Falmouth High School, according to the Bangor Daily News. The student didn’t make the baseball team, and then transferred to nearby Deering. 

Deering’s principal and athletic directors at both schools determined that the transfer was for athletic purposes, making the student ineligible. That’s when Yee took the issue to court.

From the Daily News:

Melissa Hewey, the Portland attorney representing the principal and the superintendent, argued in a court filing that it became apparent to Palmer that the student, who lives in Falmouth, was attending Deering to play baseball, not for academic reasons.

The principal asserted that the elder Yee said the boy would be not be attending Deering for the 2018-19 school year. The student also was taking just three academic classes — health, physical education and physics — rather than the usual four.

Under MPA rules, a student who transfers to a district where his/her parents don’t reside is eligible to play varsity athletics if the MPA approves a waiver. Obtaining a waiver is a three-part process, Hewey wrote.

Illegal transfers pose major problems for athletic programs, and administrators must be especially careful. If it’s later determined that a team played with an ineligible athlete, the team could be forced to forfeit all games and, in some cases, is fined.

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