DPS Board of Education files lawsuit against OHSAA

(WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Dayton Board of Education is filing a lawsuit against the Ohio High School Athletic Association after it announced Dunbar High School was removed from playing in its upcoming tournament.

OHSAA said an ineligible player from Dunbar continued to play after a game on January 10 that ended with players on Dunbar and Thurgood Marshall fighting. According to rules, players who are in fights face a two-game suspension. OHSAA says it contacted Dunbar seven times about the suspension, but said the suspension was not served.

In the lawsuit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, the coach of Dunbar's junior varsity team, Donnovan Brown, said he reviewed the video the day after the fight and determined which students were involved. Brown goes on to say the player in question, who he refers to as "John Doe," was in uniform but was not one of the five Dunbar players involved in the fight. The lawsuit claims that OHSAA released its ruling "improvidently and without factual or legal basis." It goes on to accuse OHSAA of being motivated by "spite, ill will, and/or a desire to do harm to DPS."

The lawsuit says there is video evidence that the player in question did not participate in the fight on January 10.

As a result of the lawsuit, OHSAA has postponed Sunday's boys basketball district semifinal game between Thurgood Marshall and Middletown Bishop Fenwick high school until March 8. The evidentiary hearing for the lawsuit will be held on Tuesday, March 6. When Dunbar was removed from the tournament, Thurgood Marshall took its place.

Here's the full statement from DPS officials about this lawsuit:

In response to an injunction filed on behalf of Dayton Public Schools, the boys sectional finals basketball game against Bishop Fenwick High School has been re-scheduled to Wednesday, March 7th at the University of Dayton.
DPS disagreed with the Ohio High School Athletic Association restricting participation of the Dunbar Early College High School team from further tournament play. The OHSAA claims Dunbar's administration did not follow through with policy after a bench clearing brawl at a game in January.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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