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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ind. Decisions - "Case involving South Bend basketball player lives on"

As reported by the ILB on Feb. 26, the Supreme Court has granted transfer in the case of Indiana High School Athletic Association v. Jasmine S. Watson. See also this ILB entry from Sept. 28, 2009.

Late yesterday Jeff Parrott of the South Bend Tribune reported:

The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the dispute between a former Washington High School girls basketball player and the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

Her Washington days behind her, Jasmine Watson is having a successful freshman year at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She’s earned a spot on the team’s starting five and is one of five freshmen nominated for the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year award.

She had to sit out the first eight games of her senior year at Washington, after the IHSAA declared her ineligible, ruling that she transferred from Elkhart Memorial for athletic reasons.

A St. Joseph County special judge disagreed, instead believing the Watson family’s claim they moved to South Bend for financial reasons. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling. * * *

Should the IHSAA prevail before the Supreme Court, it could enforce its restitution rule, which would force Washington to forfeit any victories in games when Watson played.

But that isn’t what’s motivating the IHSAA to pursue the case, commissioner Blake Ress told The Tribune.

"That’s not the purpose of the appeal and it’s unlikely we would go there," Ress said. "I won’t rule it out but I feel it’s unlikely."

Rather, the IHSAA worries that the Watson rulings undermined its authority in athlete eligibility disputes, Ress said.

"The original decision, we felt, was way too broad," Ress said. "It prevented us from making schools follow our rules. We’re pleased they’re going to hear it because we thought it set a bad precedent for the future."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2010 08:01 AM
Posted to Indiana Transfer Lists