Category Archives: High School

Ruling on Field Stands for High School Coach Suspended for Praying on 50-yard Line

On August 23, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction by Bremerton High School football coach Joseph Kennedy, who accused the school of violating his First Amendment rights by prohibiting him from praying on the 50-yard line immediately after football games. The prayers had started with just Kennedy on the field, but some players joined in over the years, and the prayers evolved into short motivational speeches. Although the praying took place after the games, students and parents were still…

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Parents of New York High School Football Player File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The parents of a Staten Island high school football player who died of a heart attack after collapsing at a pre-season workout in September 2014 recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of New York, the Department of Education, the Fire Department, and the Emergency Medical Services Bureau. According to reports, the 6 foot 2 inch, 295 pound player collapsed after doing wind sprints when the temperature was 78 degrees with 75 percent humidity. The heart attack was reportedly caused by a…

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Federal Court in Pennsylvania Allows High School Football Traumatic Brain Injury Case to Continue

A traumatic brain injury sustained by a grown adult while accepting the monetary rewards of professional football is one thing.  A traumatic brain injury sustained by a public high school football player while under the watch of grown adults is another, and may constitute a federal constitutional claim for “injury as a result of a state created danger,” as demonstrated by the decision issued last week by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Mann v. Palmerton Area School Dist. et

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Overbearing Sports Dad or Racketeering Lacrosse Coaches?

Not a question one frequently has occasion to ask.  Earlier this year, the father of a high school lacrosse player in Texas filed a RICO suit in federal court over what he describes as a “pay-for-play” scheme at some of the state’s premier high school lacrosse programs.  (It’s literally the father who filed suit as he is a lawyer and one of the plaintiffs, along with his wife and son, and his firm is the plaintiffs’ counsel.)  This suit follows a similar state court suit…

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Announcer Phrase in EA’s Madden Game Gets Student in Trouble

A 15-year-old middle school student landed in hot water for saying a phrase he learned from Electronic Arts’ (EA) Madden 12 game.  The student, while announcing a football game, described a 7th grade player of Haitian descent by saying, “He’s got that getting away from the cops speed.” The phrase was originally made on television by announcer Gus Johnson to describe a touchdown by Tennessee Titans’ running back Chris Johnson.  Later, the phrase was included in EA’s football game as one of phrases the electronic…

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Former High School Football Player Brings Suit for Disabilities Allegedly Caused by Concussions

A former Texas high school football player has filed suit against his former school district (MarbleFallsIndependentSchool District) and football coach (Cord Woerner) in United States District Court.  Blake Alan Ripple’s Complaint alleges that his current disabilities were caused by a lack of concern or proper care shown by the Defendants in supervising and running the school’s football program. Presently, the 20 year old Ripple claims that his disabilities are so severe that he cannot even enter a rehabilitation program due to non-stop vomiting.  Ripple also…

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