High school player's parents sue over a referee call

December 11, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Professional sports teams have instant replay — and players unions. But what rights do high school players have to appeal a call? 

A standout defensive football player at a high school in Minnesota was being recruited to play college football, but a ref's call may end that path. The player was called for targeting — the ref believes he took aim or made contact above his opponent's shoulders. 

He was ejected from the game and faces a four-game suspension, including a playoff game, a penalty that may end his college prospects.

His parents took the video, which they say proves the hit was at the shoulders, to the Minnesota State High School League, but the executive director said that bylaws say the decisions of the officials are final and refused to review it or change the penalty.  

The parents have sued. A lot of ink has been written about parents who resort to courts to fight calls that don't go their kid's way. But where the stakes affect a student's college prospects and potential future, there may be an argument that a league has a duty to have an appeals process.  

A judge will soon decide if the ref or a judge should decide the final call.