Girls basketball players challenging OHSAA over transfer eligibility after alleged bullying by coach

Girls basketball players challenging OHSAA over transfer eligibility after alleged bullying by coach
Three St. Thomas Aquinas transfer students are challenging OHSAA over eligibility. (Source: WOIO)

LOUISVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - Three student athletes at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Louisville are hoping a last-ditch legal challenge will allow them to finish their senior season, despite the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) denying a waiver request.

3 HS girls who transferred after dealing with 'bully' coach, are fighting to keep playing basketball

The players transferred after claiming their coach at nearby GlenOak High School bullied and verbally harassed them.

Some of the claims were acknowledged by the Plain Local School District in a letter to the coach.

But according to OHSAA rules, students who transfer must sit out the second half of their season. They tried obtaining a waiver under special circumstances, but because the association does not specifically address bullying by coaches or other adults in the bylaws, the request was denied.

For the three girls, who have played together since seventh grade, the possibility of an abrupt end to their season is difficult to handle.

“To finally have the full role of being a leader, it’s a big deal,” said Erica Warren. “Seeing that come to an end earlier than it's supposed to has been really hard.”

Warren’s mother, is leading the legal charge.

“We haven’t been able to enjoy any of their success or accomplishments this year,” said Lakisha Warren. “We really just want them to be able to live out the rest of their dream.”

Without intervention, the girls will only be able to suit up a few more times this season.

“This was the only option for them… to go to court,” their lawyer Douglas Bond said.

The court proceedings begin on Thursday.

An OHSAA spokesperson offered the following statement to 19 News on Wednesday night:

“...Since this matter is still pending in court, we do not have more information to provide at this time. We will be happy to provide a statement in the near future after the issue has concluded in court.”

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