A Franklin County mother is suing the Indiana High School Athletic Association and multiple school districts claiming discrimination against the girl’s basketball team based on when the girls play their games.
The suit, brought by a mother of a Franklin County High School girl’s basketball player, accuses the IHSAA and school districts in western and southwestern Indiana of discriminating against girls’ high school basketball programs.
The suit stems from when games are scheduled for the girls’ team. The preferred time for games is Friday and Saturday evenings because there is no school the next day and there are likely to be bigger crowds, yet the boys’ teams play on these days and times more frequently than the girls’ teams, according to the suit.
Girls’ games are more frequently scheduled on weeknights, which “negatively and disproportionately” impact the girls’ academic studies. The suit says this intentional discrimination against members of a protected class violates the 14th Amendment.
The suit accuses the IHSAA of knowing about the discriminatory scheduling practices of the schools but remained indifferent, and that it was warned in 1997 by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education that association members could be found out of compliance of Title IX if Friday nights are reserved for boys’ games.
The suit, Tammy Hurley, on behalf of her minor daughter, C.H v. Indiana High School Athletic Association, Franklin County Community School Corp., et al., No. 1:10-CV-913, was filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. The suit seeks a jury trial and award of injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and other fees.
This suit comes almost exactly one year after Amber Parker, the former Franklin County High School girls’ basketball coach from 2007-2009, filed a similar suit on behalf of her daughters against the same defendants regarding the scheduling of boys’ and girls’ games. That case is pending in the Southern District’s Indianapolis Division.
That case remains pending in the Southern District. On a related issue and case, the Indiana Supreme Court is also considering player eligibility with the pending case of Indiana High School Athletic Association v. Jasmine S. Watson, et al., No. 71S03-1002-CV-119.