Barr-Reeve Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Madison posted this statement Friday night about the Curt Hopf eligibility case:
"On December 4, 2019, Barr-Reeve Community Schools was named as a defendant in a lawsuit in Daviess Circuit Court brought by a family challenging a determination made by the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) that their student is not eligible to participate in athletics during this school year. The student’s family recently moved into the school district and the student enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year.
However, the student was found by the IHSAA to be ineligible to participate in athletics this school year. The school district has been named in the lawsuit merely because if the Court decides that the student is eligible to play, the Court’s order allowing the student to participate would have to be directed to the school district. The school district is not otherwise an active party to the lawsuit. The lawsuit is NOT directed at the school district, rather it is challenging the IHSAA decision.
Barr-Reeve Community Schools is a member of IHSAA. Accordingly, the school district must abide by the rules and decisions of the IHSAA, including those regarding student-athlete eligibility. Failure to follow the rules and decisions of the IHSAA could jeopardize team participation in interscholastic athletics, among other potential consequences.
IHSAA rules state that when a student transfers to a new school it must file a Transfer Report with the IHSAA with all information provided to the new school related to eligibility as of the date of the Report. Barr-Reeve Community Schools complied with this rule. The student’s former school challenged the student’s eligibility under the IHSAA rules. IHSAA ruled that the student was ineligible and the student’s family appealed the decision within the IHSAA. The IHSAA ultimately upheld the ineligibility determination after completing the internal appeal process. The family is now asking the Court to overrule the IHSAA decision.
Barr-Reeve was not, and was not permitted to be, an integral part of the IHSAA proceedings with the exception of answering a couple of basic questions at the appeal hearing. There were a lot of details regarding this case that came out during the proceedings that BRCS Administrators were not aware of when initial transfer paperwork was filed. Student-Athlete eligibility is entirely up to the IHSAA and the school district is required to honor that decision unless ordered by a Court to allow the student to participate in athletics. In the event that the Court decides that the student should be allowed to play this season, the school district will honor the court order. Otherwise, the school district is required to honor the decision of the IHSAA.
We know that many in our community have expressed concern about this situation. We hope this statement adequately explains the circumstances and addresses those concerns. Any questions may be directed to BRCS Superintendent Dr. Travis Madison, but please understand that no further statements will be made regarding this case until it is resolved."