Mobile Lawyer Files Motion To Dismiss AHSAA Football Lawsuit

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 initial claim, on behalf of Fort Spanish football parent Kerry DeFelippo, was filed last weekend. He asked a Baldwin County judge to issue a temporary restraining order against AHSAA, allowing Anthony DeFelippo and his Spanish Fort teammates to play in the Class 6A boys’ playoffs.

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Circuit Court Judge Scott P. Taylor granted the stay on Tuesday. However, Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler — in a letter attached to AHSAA’s response to Taylor’s decision — said Spanish Fort will respect AHSAA’s decision in the case and the boys will not would not play.

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

Lawyers representing AHSAA are expected to file a response later today. A hearing in the case – which does not involve the Spanish Fort women’s team, also ruled out of the playoffs due to an eligibility issue – is scheduled for May 4 if the judge does not dismiss it.

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

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

The original complaint alleged that Anthony DeFelippo was declared ineligible last week after being initially declared eligible by an AHSAA staff member last month in email correspondence.

Fort’s Spanish women’s team was later dropped from the playoffs as DeFelippo’s sisters played on that team. In both cases, Spanish Fort High School reported eligibility issues. Neither acting manager Shannon Smith nor athletic director Chase Smith has commented on either situation. Briggs also hasn’t commented as there is ongoing legal action.

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

This story will be updated.

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