On Tuesday, the family of Glendora High School baseball senior Nicholas Wagner is planning to picket in front of the CIF-SS offices in protest of the section’s decision not to waive the eight-semester rule, denying Wagner’s hardship request to CIF-SS officials for what Wagner’s attorney claims was a decision based on an “athletically motivated,” transfer. I will have a story in Tuesday’s newspaper, but for now I will share the letter the Wagner family attorney sent to the media, along with a written response from CIF-SS spokesperson Thom Simmons.
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Tuesday’s story: The family of Glendora High School baseball player Nicholas Wagner is planning to picket in front of the CIF-Southern Section office in Los Alamitos today (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) after he was ruled ineligible to participate in his senior year because of the eight-semester rule. After exhausting appeals with the section and state appeals panel board to waive the eight-semester rule under the category of a hardship, the Wagner family’s last hope is to win its battle against CIF through the Orange County Superior Court.
This is a letter sent to the media from attorney Chris C. Prussak, who is represeting Glendora baseball player Nicholas Wagner in a lawsuit filed to CIF.
We wanted to alert you about new legal proceedings concerning CIF and their unconstitutional, unconscionable and totalitarian rulings on who can- and can’t- play varsity sports.
Some background information:
Our client, Nicholas Wagner, was born November (edited out), 1992 and started kindergarten as a 4-year-old. He began high school at Damien HS (a private HS) in 2006 at 13 years of age. Nicholas was- and is currently- a GATE student. Due to his advanced academic needs, he was placed in classes with sophomores and juniors, kids who were 15, 16 or 17 years old. He began to exhibit symptons of asynchronous development, wherein a child’s emotional and social development lags behind his academic abilities. Due to his disability, he withdrew from Damien in December 2006. With the full support and agreement of the Glendora Unified School District, he was permitted to start at Glendora (his home school) in 2007 as a freshman, with no HS credits transferred, at 14 years of age. He played football and baseball for Glendora during his freshman, sophomore and junior years. Now, Nicholas was denied eligibility to play Varsity baseball in this, his Senior year, at Glendora HS.
CIF denied his hardship claim, found him guilty of “athletic motivation” with no evidence, documentation, or even hearsay, and refuses to grant him a waiver of the eight-semester rule, stating that his eligibility began to run in 2006 at Damien. He has only played three years of baseball, and never played baseball at Damien.
This is a kid who had no athletic motivation (he currently is 18 years 2 months, stands 5’6″ and weighs in at 160 lbs.), has been able to readjust appropriately to his peers, has taken Honors & AP classes and maintains a 3.94 non-weighed GPA, yet is being discriminated against on a rule which he didn’t know existed until July 2010.
I have attached a letter which we sent to CIF back in December, and to which we recieved no response to. Due to my client being subjected to the “kangaroo court” of CIF, we have gone ahead with a Superior Court lawsuit against them. I have also attached a copy of our initial filing in this case. (Orange County Superior Court, case # 30-2001-00442372, filed Jan 20, 2011).
With the approvals of Favreau, Balmer, Schmall and others, this is a complete injustice done on no evidence by the “Old Boy’s Club” over at CIF. Our client and his supporters are planning a protest and will be picketing CIF headquarters and CIF events on selected dates.
Chris C. Prussak
Law Offices of Prussak, Welch & Avila, APC
CIF-SS spokesperson Thom Simmons issued this written response…
CIF Southern Section counsel has received notice of continued litigation in this case and is presently working on the section’s response to it. The CIF Southern Section followed CIF Southern Section By-Laws in rendering its decision in this matter and a CIF State Appeals panel agreed with those findings. We have every confidence a judge reviewing this case will do likewise.