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Valdosta High football parent files lawsuit after ineligibility ruling

The Valdosta Board of Education is considering a Valdosta High School schedule change.
The Valdosta Board of Education is considering a Valdosta High School schedule change.
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 10:44 AM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A parent of a Valdosta High School football player has filed a lawsuit following an ineligibility ruling from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).

Shafreda Hall filed the lawsuit against GHSA after Ty’Li Lewis, her son, was ruled ineligible to play for the Wildcats in April 2021. That ineligibility ruling stemmed from an investigation from GHSA into a secret recording and 64-page deposition against former Head Coach Rush Propst.

Lewis was one of five players that were ruled ineligible.

The lawsuit is asking for it to be declared that Lewis did not violate GHSA’s bylaws, the ineligibility decision to be voided, bar the GHSA from prohibiting Lewis from playing in the upcoming 2021 season.

WALB Sports spoke with William Godfrey, the attorney representing Hall and Lewis, he calls the ruling a “major violation.”

”The GHSA should have never allowed that hearing to take place. Because what occurred in that hearing was nowhere close to the due process that is supposedly offered to those that have been accused of a violation based upon the GHSA rules and bylaws. Ms. Hall has retained counsel to fight the procedure that they subjected her son to go into to his senior year primed to receive a college scholarship, transforming his future,” said Godfrey.

WALB News 10 Sports reached out to GHSA for a comment.

“We are not in the practice of discussing ongoing legal matters,” Dr. Robin Hines, GHSA executive director, said.

The GHSA also responded to the lawsuit.

According to those court documents, the GHSA states the request should be denied. In the GHSA’s written response, it claims the “plaintiff was not denied due process,” and “has no right to participate in interscholastic athletics.”

The GHSA denied the Valdosta High Schools’ second and final appeal three months ago.

Citing undue influence in the transfer of five families to VHS ahead of the 2020 football season.

In GHSA’s response it claims “Valdosta City Schools’ Superintendent, Todd Cason, said one of those students being recruited was Plaintiff.”

Godfrey said, ”The GHSA should have never allowed that hearing to take place. Because what occurred in that hearing was nowhere close to the due process that is supposedly offered to those that have been accused of a violation based upon the GHSA rules and bylaws. Ms. Hall has retained counsel to fight the procedure that they subjected her son to go into to his senior year primed to receive a college scholarship, transforming his future.”

This is a developing story and we will update as more information becomes available.

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