Mobile attorney files motion to dismiss a soccer lawsuit against AHSAA

Mobile attorney David Allen today filed a motion to dismiss his client’s lawsuit against Alabama High School Athletic Association executive director Alvin Briggs.

The original claim, on behalf of Spanish Fort soccer parent Kerry DeFelippo, was filed last weekend. It asked for a Baldwin County judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the AHSAA, allowing Anthony DeFelippo and his Spanish Fort teammates to play in the Class 6A boys postseason.

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Circuit Court Judge Scott P. Taylor granted the stay on Tuesday. However, Baldwin County superintendent Eddie Tyler – in a letter enclosed in AHSAA’s response to Taylor’s decision – stated that Spanish Fort would adhere to the AHSAA’s decision in the case and the boys would not play.

In today’s filing, Allen noted that, since the first round of the Class 6A playoffs is over, there is “no relief the Honorable Court can order that could restore the season.”

Attorneys representing the AHSAA are expected to file a response later today. A hearing on the case – which does not involve the Spanish Fort girls team, also removed from the playoffs due to an eligibility issue – is scheduled for May 4 if the judge does not dismiss it.

Allen’s motion stated “the defendant’s arbitrary and capricious eligibility determination has ruined the high school athletic experience for the Plaintiff and dozens of students and their families.”

He further added that the defendants and officials who supported the decision “deserve all the public scrutiny and disdain they have received.”

The original complaint alleged that Anthony DeFelippo had been declared ineligible last week after being originally declared eligible by an AHSAA staff member last month in an e-mail correspondence.

The Spanish Fort girls team was later removed from the playoffs as DeFelippo’s sisters played on that squad. In both cases, Spanish Fort High School self-reported eligibility issues. Neither interim principal Shannon Smith nor athletic director Chase Smith have commented on either situation. Briggs also has not commented since there is pending legal action.

Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) posted on social media Saturday night that he planned to draft legislation in response to the AHSAA’s decision in the girls case. Tyler appealed the girls’ decision to the AHSAA’s First District Board late last week, but that appeal was denied.

This story will be updated.

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