Please delete if too political. While I disagree with how this school holds tryouts and then allows players to be replaced later, I can't believe extracurricular activies like basketball can be viewed as part of a "right to a full education". I know the trend is toward limiting the emphasis on winning in sports, not keeping score, etc. but to view making a team as a "right" goes too far. I'll fall back on my "Layest of all Laypersons" moniker, but please MGoLawyers, tell me this case has no legs.
OT: Arkansas mother sues HS after son is cut from basketball team.
...for the future of this country.
Now get off my lawn.
or was offered a spot on the JV team, it doesn't sound like he has a case at all.
I'd say more, but I couldn't think of anything that was MGoAppropriate.
I would agree that I don't think he has a 'right' to play on the team. The thing that struck me as strange was how the tryouts worked at the school.
Her dialect is quite condescending,to say the least.
This might be the type of law suit that doesn't result in any sort of victory in court, but the attention it has drawn could result in the school district taking another look at its try-out process.
Her son may not benefit from the suit, but it could result in the school district revisiting its policies.
Anyone could be on the team (there were no cuts) but you had to be good to play. That did lead to a football team of over 80 kids, so I can see why some schools might not have the funding for something like that. My school's response was to run us until about half the kids quit. Parents can't get mad at you for cutting their kid when he quit on his own because he couldn't hack it.
I am a firm believer of the importance of sports in education and growth, but I doubt she has any sort of legal leg to stand on, though I could be wrong.
football is WAY different than basketball. football you want as many as you can get.
basketball you want about 11-12 of the best you can get as most schools have 7 or 8 man rotations
whereas football you have 22 different starters and a backup or 2 for each of them.
Seriously people will sue over any ridiculous thing these days. Because schools really have enough money that they can afford to flush a bunch of it away on a ridiculous lawsuit.
I hope this kid is completely embarassed by his mom's behavior.
This story is just coming out a month and nine days late, right? This woman cannot be serious. People have a constitutional right to not be cut from a sports team?? Even the excerpt from the suit ("...a full and complete education which includes competition in sports...") refers to competition. Hey lady, just in case you didn't know: in competitions, there's always a winner and a loser. It's an important character trait to learn how to deal with losing in life.
Zero-Sum games, its a new concept.
I have 3 trains of thought on this situation:
- The kid and his mom need to grow up. He's not the first person to ever be cut, and if he's not one of the best players who tried out, that's the end of the story. And as cliche as it is, MJ got cut (even though I believe it was as a sophomore trying out for varsity...). Either way though, he got over it and this kid (or his mom maybe)needs to as well. This could be a hell of a learning experience for both of them, and probably one that would be more effective than one basketball season could provide.
- It is really shady that the cut was during an impromptu 3rd tryout during the middle of the season because some football players were now available to play on the team. Those guys deserved a chance to play as well, but man, that's just not right.
- Lastly, who sues for something like this? Whatever happened to the overzealous parent going the coach or the school's AD and pitching a fit? What an odd world the life of kids has become since my own younger years.
I completely agree with point number 2. The only thing that may be seen as unfair is that they had cuts during the season. Is it common for there to be that much of an overlap of seasons? When I was in school, in addition to riding dinosaurs our football players usually just missed conditioning for basketball. Of course, we didn't usually go very far in the playoffs, so that may have been the reason. I would be happy with the school telling the football players that they need to pick the sport they want to play, but that might mean losing games if you don't have the best athletes on the floor.
When I was in HS a dozen or so years ago, there was often overlap between the seasons, and if your team made a deep playoff run, there was significant overlap. I grew up in Michigan.
I would imagine that im warmer states (I know this is the case in CA) the football season goes later because of weather. This could be the case in Arkansas. I the football schedule interfered with basketball try outs, the it makes sense for something like this. As long as the kids knew about it, I don't see a problem. But even if the kid simply got kicked off the team, so what? That's life, deal with it.
This seems like a case of an overbearing parent being unable to accept that their child isn't special. Thank goodness my parents weren't like that. I was cut from football, and my dad explained it wasn't my thing and helped me redirect my efforts into academics and a new sport (cycling).
I hope this suit gets shot down. Sports are one of the few things left in society today that are merit-based. Sports is very simple: if you earn a place on the team, you get it. If you don't earn it or simply aren't good enough, you don't play.
This woman is enabling her son by making excuses for his lack of talent. It doesn't bode well for his future. When he gets a job and doesn't perform, his boss isn't going to say that it is his constitutional right to work there.
This has nothing to do with politics and all to do with production. The idea is to be better than the other guy. That is why they have a scoreboard.
You must not have played sports in a small town. At my school, you played partly because of your ability, but also if your parents were friends with the coach or they were a star at the school, etc. Our starting shortstop had more errors than the rest of the team combined my Sophomore year but he never missed a game (his average was in the high 200's too). Although this really wasn't "fair", it still provided an opportunity for me to learn from disappointment. I ended up quitting baseball after starting varsity my whole Sophomore season because the coach didn't like me. I ran track and had a good time anyway. Plus girls in nylon shorts stretching, so . . .
the best preparation for life in the real world you could get.
Yeah, it's pretty much been one disappointment after another since (wife and daughter excluded of course). My dad always said "never expect anything and you'll never be disappointed." This is good advice to end up like me, so please never, ever tell your kids that!
You're going to come across a lot of instances where someone gets something because they know someone, rather than them being deserving of it, and where being the best at something isn't as important as who you know in a lot of instances, rather than "get used to being a failure in life, son"....but whatever works for you. (Or doesn't work. It's so confusing).
I have no idea where that saying originated. I think my dad just likes to say stuff for the shock value. That's fine when you're at an age when you understand sarcasm. Another note to parents, kids don't understand sarcasm!! My dad is a very creative person who always has a bunch of projects/ventures going so he isn't afraid of failure at all. My problem is I've always been good enough at things to do well with little effort but I've never tried hard enough to be great at anything. What happened here? This is getting too deep. F#%* Dantonio and Meyer! Team 133 Rulez.
The whole tryout deal sounds dumb and all but the claim made in the lawsuit is nuts. Unfortunately I can see the case being made that public tax money is spent on facilities and whatnot and given the budgetary pressure put on public districts blah blah blah... end game: no more HS sports and everything goes to AAU type club organizations.
Sports are extra curricular and not a right, thus a try-out.
The arguement now imo is how much money in fees did the family have to pay after he made the team. If he made the team and then during the regular season he was removed so another player who did not make the original tryouts could be on the team then the family has a very serious arguement.
Some of it is just whining, learn and deal with it, but the other is if you paid fees upon making the team then out side of dismissal from the team for rules violations agreed upon to remain on the team, there is no justification for this dismissal!
I can't blame a parent for being so angry and protective of his/her child that they take things so far as consulting with a lawyer. However, the lawyers that take these kinds of cases and lose should be publicly reprimanded. These kind of lawsuits are what give lawyers a bad name.
If your kid's not good enough teach them to work harder. Not everyone wins in the real world.
Thats one way of looking at it. True, they should be teaching them all those things. But you can't blame parents for being upset about the process. Its clearly not the case that he was not good enough since he was on the team. The argument is over the impromptu mid-season tryouts (which are bullsh-t if you ask me).
The argument is over the impromptu mid-season tryouts (which are bullsh-t if you ask me).
Which, while true, is not even remotely worthy of a lawsuit.
Even though I can't imagine it now, I'm sure there will be a time when I realize my daughter is not great at everything. I'm sure I will be angry and hurt for her when I see her struggle. I understand your point profit but the old addage that "actions speak louder than words" seems to fit here. What is she teaching her son about how to handle adversity? I don't claim to know what else she is telling her son in this situation and I hope that she is responsibly teaching him along the way that this is the process. There is no appeal through the school, so we are taking it to the courts. If this were a more serious (or actual, IMHO) violation of his rights, I would be much more understanding. In this case, it comes across as her just trying to shield him from the hurts in life, which isn't doing either of them any good. I do agree that it would be great if attorneys didn't take cases like this. However, I'm sure an attorney or two has taken a case they know they can't win just to make a point or gain publicity for a cause.
I agree with you 100%. First, 99% of parents would never bring this kind of lawsuit - some (many?) might bring it up with the school adminstrators and board members but many not. Second, I was speaking with more of a focus on the case itself versus the teaching being done at home about the experience. But you make a great point in that the fact she filed this lawsuit is a terrible example for her kid. Terrible.
As a parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome, I support this post. Even though my son's autism puts him at a disadvantage to the other kids, we have never tried to keep him from reality. He knows his limitations and we remind him when he gets frustrated. It can be maddening sometimes, but I don't care to raise him by a different set of rules that will vanish when he becomes an adult.
I pray more parents can have your attitude. I have the ultimate admiration for parents who deal so well having children with long term challenges. I had a moment when I was feeling sorry for myself and my wife when we were with our daughter in the NICU for 3+ weeks when she was born. Then I went to a support/pizza dinner and realized there were other parents with real problems (our daughter was doing great, just had an infection and needed to gain weight b/c she was 7 weeks early). Needless to say, I got over my pity party really quickly.
The suit alleges that the right to an education is a "property right guaranteed under both the U.S. and State Constitutions." I have never seen any cases that apply the Constitution's right to property to something as ethereal as an education. I would hope that the attorney has some case to back this up, but hopefully he is stretching pretty far.
He also says that "the sheer lack of an orderly appeals process for students who were cut is also a violation of due process." In order to satisfy due process, an appeal is only required where a RIGHT is being taken from you. It does not apply when a PRIVILEGE is being taken away from you. In my opinion, the ability to play on a high-school sanctioned basketball team is a privilege, and not a right, and is therefore not entitled to an appeal. This can also be supported by the vast number of alternatives available to the student, including non-school-sanctioned basketball teams, public basketball games, chess club, track and field, etc., many of which do not require a tryout, accept all participants, and provide a substantially similar experience (competition, teamwork, etc.) as the basketball team.
My hope is that this case dies quickly. This is one of those cases with the potential to really screw everything up in schools, public leagues, etc. Please go away.
EDIT: I definitely agree that the preferential treatment was pretty messed up. Makes me wonder if there's a way for the judge to outlaw that type of activity, but not sure if s/he can. It probably depends on the way the complaint was drafted.
My high school basketball team also enjoyed some silly politics when it came to football players. Our varsity bball coach was also the JV football coach and treated the 8th-13th spots on the team as off-season conditioning opportunities for stud football players.
I was cut from varsity while our starting tailback made the team, despite having never playing basketball before, with the sole intention of rehabbing him from a football related injury.
I'm still bitter, always will be, and I fully understand any and all sentiments behind the lawsuit.
Being bitter about something, and feeling that it warrants a lawsuit are totally different. So your coach had different priorities for the team than you did? Tell the athletic director or principal. To to a different school. Play a different sport. Or deal with it. But a lawsuit? You can't be serious.
My crystal ball produced the following excerpt from an online newspaper in 2023 ... well, that's redundant, ALL newspapers in 2023 are online, there is no paper in the world anymore -- which makes cleaning up after going potty a REAL trick, well, you can't have progress if you don't take a couple steps back... ANYway, I digress..:
DATELINE: LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, OCTOBER 22, 2023
Today, a judge granted judgment for a distraught father, Mr. Matthew Smith, who filed an emergency lawsuit when the coach of the high school's sophomore football team was going to call an end-run around the weak side. The court held that the coach should have called a pitchout to the father's kid, Billy Smith, who was the team's second-string running back.
Based on prior precedent of the last few years, the Court held that the Coach was not acting in Billy's best interest by refusing to call the first-down play for him. Judge Smiley Williams acknowledged previous ruling from his court, as well as other states in the Southeatern Conference including Texas, Missouri, Ohio, and Idaho, where courts have enjoined or imposed damages on college, high school, amateur, peewee league, and family backyard sporting events where decisions were made contrary to a particular player's best interest.
"I gots me what I wants," Mr. Smith gleefully addressed to waiting e-reporters, "proof that that thar coach was just an outright maroon. Billy's got a college education to be worryin' about, he needs the damn ball in his hands."
The attorney for the Broadwater High School District, Ms. Anna Jones, declined to comment beyond saying, "I fear where this country is heading."
At the risk of preaching to the choir and/or stating the obvious:
1. The mother says that the coaches aren't qualified: Then who is? How does the court determine this? What qualifies one to be a h.s. basketball coach?
2. The third tryout was unfair b/c the girls team doesn' t have one: Does the girls team have most of its best players busy with the equivalent of football during their tryouts? Even if they do, is this really a material difference in the way the teams are treated? Wouldn't it be unfair to football players if they didn't get to try out because they were playing football?
3. There should be an appeals process: Who would hear the appeal? A court? The board of education? How would/could they make a determination about who belonged on the team? Are they going to take expert testimony about players' jump shots, etc.?
The plaintiff is asking the court to seriously consider these questions, which strikes me as something that won't end well for her...but this is only my opinion and certainly not legal advice or any other type of advice. Chances are good, in fact, that you are not reading this post and that you are instead imagining it because you've been taking peyote for the past three days.
is if the school has some sort of participation requirement -- sports teams, community service, other extracurricular activities -- in which case the you're-on-the-team-until-football-is-over could have some negative impact beyond disappointment. But that's not the case here, or certainly hasn't been alleged if so, and the complaint is completely over the top (and I'm someone who tends to give leeway on these sorts of issues.)
How about a "loser pays" scenario here? When the court clears the school, the mother gets to pay for all the expenses the lawsuit caused. That oughta do it.
Doesn't she know there are plenty of sports at any high school where there are no cuts? Basketball is rarely one of them.
IIRC, they have this in some countries. If you sue someone for some type of crime or damages and do not win, you have to serve the time or pay the damages you were seeking. Seems fair to me, although I'd like to see someone assemble a jury of my peers. Unlikely ;)
Speaking very generally, you pay for your own counsel in the U.S. As you say, that's not true everywhere.
I've read some really interesting, economics oriented discussion of moving to a loser pays system. It's not nearly as "good" or "bad" as it seems on the surface, IMO; it would do a lot of good things and a lot of bad things.
The "American Rule" is at best a generality, but has been circumvented in many, many situations. Many contracts have fee-reversers in them, creating a loser-pays situation for breach of contract cases. Most federal and state civil rights and consumer-protection statutes have fee-reverers in them too.
Do Beautiful Women Really Come to Life When You Drink Bud Light? 1991, Richard Overton sued Anheuser-Busch for false and misleading advertising under Michigan State law. The complaint specifically referenced ads involving, among other things, fantasies of beautiful women in tropical settings that came to life for two men driving a Bud Light truck. In addition to two claims of false advertising, Mr. Overton included a third claim in his complaint in which he claimed to have suffered emotional distress, mental injury, and financial loss in excess of $10,0000 due to the misleading Bud Light ads. The court dismissed all claims.
If you can’t sue the system, sue yourself. 1995, Robert Lee Brock sued himself for $5 million. He claimed that he had violated his own civil rights and religious beliefs by allowing himself to get drunk and commit crimes which landed him in the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Virginia, serving a 23 year sentence for grand larceny and breaking and entering. What could he possibly have to gain by suing himself? Since being in prison prevented him from having an income, he expected the state to pay. This case was thrown out.
Since when were haunted houses frightening? 2000, Cleanthi Peters sued Universal Studios for $15,000. She claimed to have suffered extreme fear, mental anguish, and emotional distress due to visiting Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights haunted house, which she said was too scary.
My high school had 1 sport every season that was 100% no cut. It didn't mean you got to play, but you would be on the team, get to go to practice, have that "ability for a full education with sports" or whatever.
I know for both boys and girls Track and Cross Country were 2 seasons. I think it was football was one, can't remember the 3rd girls sport, but we had a no-cut sport so that there were options for everyone to participate.
In general, I agere with the above posters that everyone loses and gets cut. Trophies for all is bull. My kids (when I have them someday) will compete and lose. They will learn to lose and accept it, and how to win with sportsmanship.
Get off my (I live in an apartment and therefore dont have a) lawn.
The softness of kids, and their parents, is ridiculous. I'm only 22, but I can see the difference between the way kids are treated now (with regards to sports) compared to how I was. A trophy, for finishing in last place? What is that, a celebration of suckitude? That is bullshit, kids want an incentive to win, and to get better. I can understand 4 year olds not keeping score, but when it comes to middle and high school, that is ridiculous. I was cut from the basketball team at my high school, because I suck at basketball (relatively). Did I whine and file a fucking lawsuit?! No. Accept it, move on, join wrestling or track.
I agree; when I have kids, they will know what it's like to lose, and lose with respect for the game and their opponent. If they're lucky, they'll also know what it's like to win.
If you have that attitude your kid will probably win more times than not. He will also be a better sport about losing as well. Good post!
Just checking: are you aware that your karma is at -1 and your posts only show in the app?
Kids are soft. Fragile. Lets assume that. This teenager is arguably closer to being an adult though. Maybe not THIS teenager, but lets assume teenagers are somewhat fragile, halfway to being a 'real adult'.
Parents being this soft doesn't work. I'm agreeing with you. Easily the toughest part of being a parent is seeing your kid hurt. I'm wondering what message this parent is sending to this kid.
Your kid sucks and was cut. Teach your kid to deal with adversity. He could work his ass off and get better, wait that would take character. Why weaken our country over stupid lawsuits. Kids need to win and lose to learn about life. New people on the workforce are terrible and with a global economy we will get our asses kicked. Toughen up kids, because life isn't fair and a greasy lawyer can't always bail you out. I am not saying all lawyers are bad, because many are amazing people. There are few that really hurt the profession, because of greediness. I hope the school can countersue her, and ruins her future as a lesson to all.
The constitution does not guarantee the right to an education, least of all a "full education." Maybe their state constitution does, but how does being cut from the bball team deprive him of that? I'm sure the school library has a book on basketball. Tell the kid to read the book, and have his goofy mother read it too.
salvo of pussification from the "everyone wins" generation has been fired. Good luck, and may God help us all.
The legalities and outcome of this case are irrevelant; if I remember anything about high school, it's that everyone who knows this kid now thinks he's a little bitch. Congrats, mom.
His mom may be shocked to learn that there's no due process in the court of public opinion.
I know we're not allowed to do such things anymore being all civilized and whatnot but back in the day when i was in high school (late 70's) a mom of one of the players bitched out the coach cause her precious little boy wasnt getting NEARLY enough playing time to suit her. Now the fact that he SUCKED mattered not to dear old mom....he was her offspring so by default he was wonderful.
Well after mom left our coach simply turned to us and asked us ever so nicely if we wouldnt mind too much helping her son see the error of mom's ways. So after getting the living shit beaten out of him by us, stripped naked and stuffed into a locker we has able to convince mom that night to shut the fuck up.
Last our coach heard of her. The team took care of the problem.
Too bad that the boy's parents didn't go over to the coach's house and beat the living hell out of his family. Might have toughened up that coach.
Wait, so to prove a point about a kid's mom, you beat him up, molested him, then stuffed him in a locker? Yeah, let's bring back the good ol' days.
Geez, lighten up. Kids get beat up and bullied. It happens.
Very good solution. Too bad that shit would never fly today. At my high school, there was only enough players for a varsity hockey team and no jv, and I guess some freshman complained to their parents who complained to the AD about a little hazing.
Because back in the day people thought this was a good idea.
But I'm sure you felt manly as you beat up a guy you outnumbered by the dozens. Must have bred some real men back in the day.
Of course back in my day fair fights were more manly than stripping boys, but we obviously grew up in different areas.
Everyone needs to take a deep breath. I was referencing something that happened over 35 years ago to demonstrate things were handled differently in the past. The kid survived (believe it or not - his injuries weren't fatal) and afterwards he actually got some measure of respect from the team from shutting up his mom.
I realize that I am probably the ONLY person on the board that was ever in a fight or acted improperly as a youth. Sheesh.
You were taking glee in it.
And as at least I said...there's a fair fight. And then there's cowardly piling on.
No one is thinks a couple of football players getting in a fight is the end of the world. Acting proud because you and a bunch of your buddies ganged up on a guy (because of what his MOM did) and humiliated him while he was outnumbered is where people differ. If it happened to you, or your kid, you probably wouldn't be wishing for the good old days.
You can try and rewrite your previous post now, but you're probably better off quiting while you're behind.
Just curious. How do you expect the schoolmates of this kid in Arkansas to react to this suit? Do you think he'll face some sort of recrimination by the players remaining on the team or witll they just laugh it off? Do you think the other students (now that this story has gone national) will react with calm and measured reason or do you think they'll act like typical high school kids and make his life hell?
I'll bet on things being very tough for this kid from now on. Not because it's right but because it's how kids normally act in high school. Sorry if that offends you.
You're a real man..
this sounds like a legit reason to sue...
Order the "Code Red".......
The reason why people sue over stupid stuff is because the courts have made it possible to win unspeakable lawsuits. The first time someone wins a trillion dollar lawsuit for spilling HOT coffee in their own lap, makes everyone think of a dumber way to make money.
I share your concern but your example is not good. While that lawsuit is the punchline of frivolous lawsuit gripes, the plaintiff's injuries were considerable and her complaint had more merit than the short version suggests.
/the more you know
I too thought it was a bullshit lawsuit until I read the facts about how McDonalds was brewing their coffee 3 times the normal heat temperature so they could squeeze every ounce of coffee out of the bean and then the employee didn't change the settings back so the coffee was hotter than the sun... So McDonalds fucked up and needed to pay
Let this be the lawsuit heard round the country!!! Now hear this: Have you been cut from your high school football, baseball, or basketball team? Are you having trouble sleeping at night due to the emotional injuries sustained by the feeling of being rejected? Call 1-800-SOR LOSR and join the class action lawsuit filed by the law firm of .......
With 2 minutes to play, winning or losing, our coach just threw us out there. The worst part was getting subbed in with like 24 seconds to play while somebody's shooting freethrows. The game in hand, it was like there were crickets in the stands. "Here they come! Scrub player clean up duty!". The applause was not for us but the star point guard who had 12 assists and 18 pts. It sucked because we never had much time to show our skills or make any meaningful plays. Violent fouling was always an entertaining option.
Still, being on the H.S. basketball team was considered an earned privilege, not a right. You had to have better than average skills to even qualify for the team.
I did not know there was a trend limiting the emphasis of winning in HS sports. I doubt that.
While the try-out process sounds like it's bullshit--and I've seen bullshit tryouts in high school first-hand--he has a right to participate, but that doesn't mean he is entitled to a spot on the team, nor is this a lawsuit-worthy situation.
I would be damn embarrassed if either of my parents did this.
Having spent the last seven years watching my kids play soccer, football, hockey, basketball, softball, and baseball, I feel like I've seen just about every situation. My daughter plays softball (she's 9) and her team and coaches are so competition-averse, it's awful. The team is pretty bad (it's like watching the 12 stooges), and half the girls don't even want to be there, but instead of setting goals and working to improve, the coach downplays winning and says things like, "Let's just enjoy being together." Really? Then why play sports? Sports teach you how to lose - that's an important lesson to learn in life. There's nothing shameful about losing. There's more shame in not trying than there is in losing. Some parents are so afraid of their children feeling pain and rejection and self-doubt, they choose to avoid them altogether by taking the competition out of the equation. What a huge mistake! And the way these parents deal with "injuries" is pathetic. Maybe it's because they're girls (which makes it even worse in my book), but if someone falls down, she immediately starts screaming and the parent runs out and carries her off the field. Teaching them to walk it off (when it clearly isn't a serious injury) helps them to become more resilient.