|Basketball Cut Nets Lawsuit|
|Thursday, May 17 2012|
An Arkansas mother is suing her son’s high school after he was dropped from the basketball team. In her lawsuit against Maumelle High School, the district and state, Teresa Bloodman charges that the school violated her son's equal protection and due process rights.
According to the lawsuit, Bloodman's son made the team after two tryouts over the summer and practiced with the team throughout the fall. Later in the fall, the coaches hosted a third tryout for football players transitioning to basketball. Following that tryout, nine of the original 11 players were replaced, including Bloodman's son.
Bloodman contends the third tryout violated her son's equal protection rights because it was not the same method used by the girl's team. She further alleges that her son's due process rights were violated because he was not given an opportunity to appeal his dismissal from the team. The suit further states that such actions invoke: "...the deprivation of the right to a full and complete education which includes competition in sports and consequently athletic scholarships impairs John Doe of a property right guaranteed under both the U.S. and State Constitutions." (*Bloodman's son, a minor, is not named in the lawsuit).
Jay Bequette, attorney for the Pulaski County Special School District, says the Eighth Circuit has never recognized a student's due process right to participate in extra-curricular activities. "The simple issue here is whether or not a student has a right to participate in extra-curricular activities; be it band, choir or whatever," Bequette said. "There is no clearly established right of parents to have their children compete in interscholastic athletics."