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Armstrong said that the episode was were stressful, causing him to sift through the reasons Racer left Apple Valley.
It “seemed like as every day went by, there were more and more layers,” said Armstrong. “You have to be talking to lawyers, and you have to be dealing with the high school league and parents.” People were saying, “We need a decision, we need it now,” said Armstrong.
With so much at stake, some parents have challenged the authority of the MSHSL.
One vivid example came in 2012 when the parents of a hockey player filed a federal lawsuit against the MSHSL — which the parents won. The suit came after league officials attempted to block the athlete’s eligibility after the family argued it was switching schools because a new school offered a broader array of college-prep classes.
In that case, the MSHSL ruled the athlete ineligible for one year even though officials at the Academy of Holy Angels and Lakeville North — the school he left and the one he transferred to, respectively — supported the family. The family also hired the dean of a business school to provide an expert opinion of the two schools’ college-prep business classes.
League officials argued that ruling for the athlete “would undermine its control” over the interpretation of MSHSL bylaws and “create administrative burdens” because the league would have to hold hearings “anytime a student sought to transfer to a school with a different slate of advanced course offerings.”
Despite the league’s arguments, a federal judge in November 2012 ruled in favor of the family and granted them a preliminary injunction. Nine days later, the league and the family settled the case, allowing the athlete to be “fully eligible to participate in varsity athletics.”
Mike Kaszuba • 612-673-4388