The attorney for a Goose Creek High School student declared ineligible by the state’s High School League is taking another shot in federal court at reversing the league’s decision and getting the player reinstated.
But at this point it’s unlikely a decision to declare the student eligible to play would continue the Gators’ season. The attorney said last week that the student hopes to be declared eligible to play basketball for Goose Creek.
On Friday, attorneys filed a request in U.S. District Court in Charleston in hope of getting a judge to reconsider an emergency injunction in regard to Justice Roemello Rogers’ ineligibility. During an emergency hearing on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck denied their original request and said Rogers’ attorney had failed to serve papers to the S.C. High School League.
The federal lawsuit was filed in hopes of having Rogers declared eligible to play for the Gators under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prevents public agencies from discriminating against people with disabilities. Rogers is special needs student with a learning disability, according to the complaint.
Goose Creek’s winning football season came to a screeching halt when the league’s executive committee upheld commissioner Jerome Singleton’s ruling that the Gators had used an ineligible player in 10 games this season, including a first-round playoff win against Conway on Nov. 9.
The Gators took their case to a state court and had been granted a temporary restraining order that allowed the school to play in the game against Bluffton, a 35-25 Gators victory.
Young also ruled the executive committee had to convene in open session to reconsider the eligibility requirements based on its rules. The committee then ruled against the Gators for the second time.
Goose Creek, the defending state champion in Division II-AAAA, was 13-0 and riding a 26-game winning streak. On Friday Bluffton lost to Northwestern, who advanced to the state championship against Greenwood. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday in Columbia.
While Judge Houck denied the request because the plaintiff’s attorney failed to have papers served to SCHSL, he indicated the suit probably would not have succeeded on the merits.
Still, another request was filed on Friday, but a hearing had not been scheduled as of Monday morning, according to the federal Clerk of Court’s office.