Sep 12, 2014Athlete suing his former HS after being cut from team
Basketball players are cut from their teams all the time, but rarely do we ever hear the athlete taking their school to court over it.
Former Medina High School (Ohio) student-athlete Chase Johanson is suing his former school in federal court, claiming it violated his constitutional rights when he was cut after complaining about the team on Twitter. The complaint indicates there was some history between Johanson and the team before he was kicked off, but the idea that someone would take their high school to court over athletic participation seems a bit outrageous.
The complaint says his “relationship with the Medina High School Basketball Program began to sour in December of 2010 during his sophomore year when there was a conflict of interest between a school sponsored musical performance, in which Plaintiff was a participant, and a basketball game. Following the code of conduct for the school, when such a conflict arises, there was an agreement that he could participate in the musical performance with no clarification of penalty. However, as a result of his participation he was made ineligible to participate in one half of their next basketball game.”
From there, Johanson and his parents complained to the athletic director (“The coach was required to apologize”), but then felt his “playing time was noticeably reduced for the remainder of the season and he was singled out for negative treatment.” Then, despite a coaching change, Johanson “felt that he was treated negatively and differently than other players.”
He didn’t make the varsity team his junior year, playing “exceptionally well” and “despite his performance” he was “passed over for promotion to the varsity team by at least one underclassman who was not a starter on the junior varsity team.” When he was a senior, he was put on varsity “but was relegated to very little playing time.
His time there was short lived because he took to Twitter on December 14, 2012, after he “sat on the bench the entire game.” Per the complaint, he tweeted “Am I that bad that I can’t even play on a losing team?” (A review of his Twitter account shows a tweet saying “Am I THAT BAD? #sittingonalosingteam.”) And the next day: “At this point the trainer has been on the floor more than I have, and then At least the Brunswick coaches would take me to play basketball” (his actual Twitter account says “Elyrias coaches and Brunswicks coaches said they would take me to play basketball… if only it was legal #satthroughthreelosses).