Kentucky High School Athletics Association officials couldn’t get out of their own way to support the state’s flood relief efforts.
An impressive list of the region’s top high school talent had assembled to play in the Midwest Charity Classic on Aug. 27 in Lexington, including IU commit Gabe Cupps and several Indiana recruiting targets. The event was to be a nationally televised game hosted by ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg at Frederick Douglass High School.
Funds raised from the event were to go toward Kentucky flood-relief efforts. A historic and deadly flooding event in the eastern part of the state left 39 people dead and homes, businesses and lives destroyed.
The marketing materials for the event included an asterisk next to the names of Kentucky based players Reed Sheppard and Travis Perry, with the footnote “participation pending KHSAA approval.”
That approval stemmed from a KHSAA bylaw that restricts high school basketball participants from playing in certain outside competitions during the school year, prior to the end of their competitive seasons.
On Wednesday the organization ruled Sheppard and Perry could not play in the charity game. As the event’s two biggest draws, the event has been cancelled according to multiple reports.
“When you have a rule that you can summarily make exceptions to, the rule by its very face becomes arbitrary and capricious,” KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett told WLEX-18 about the decision to deny participation. “And you no longer have a rule. That’s what the courts have found. You cannot be arbitrary.”
Here’s a thought for the KHSAA: If a rule doesn’t permit high school athletes to come together to assist locals in need during a time of crisis, you have an absurd rule that needs to be changed, immediately.
Event organizers say refunds have been issued.
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