Ruling may come Friday in ‘Let Them Play’ lawsuit to renew youth sports activities
SAN DIEGO – Friday could determine the fate of thousands of youth athletes in California as the Let Them Play movement moved into the courtroom.
Marlon Gardinera, Scripps Ranch High School head coach and vocal attorney for the Let Them Play CA group.
A decision is expected Friday on a lawsuit filed on behalf of two high school graduates alleging unfair treatment of college athletes by the state. They are hoping for a temporary injunction so that football and other sports can practice and play in full competition.
“Every day makes a big difference,” said Marlon Gardinera, Scripps Ranch High School chief football coach and vocal advocate for the Let Them Play CA group. “There is a limited amount of time to do autumn sports before we have to give way to winter and spring sports.”
The Let Them Play group is pushing for youth sport to resume to judge
The complaint, filed on behalf of Nicholas Gardinera and Cameron Woolsey, questions the state’s pandemic restrictions that ban youth sports and claims there is no suitable data to support the decision.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include Governor Gavin Newsom, the state Department of Health, San Diego County, and the county health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.
A hearing scheduled for Wednesday was postponed to Friday after the state asked for more time. Gardinera’s lawyers agreed to meet on Friday but requested a decision the same day.
The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“Most states have already played, most colleges have filled a large part of their roster, but I think they’re always looking for California kids so there’s still a chance,” said Gardinera.
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As the state moves closer to reopening, including schools, Gardinera says there is still a lot of good that can come from the lawsuit if a judge rules in favor of the athletes.
“If the lawsuit helps to make it clear that there has been a difference in treatment between high schools and colleges and professionals who were allowed to continue working,” he said. “If successful, the lawsuit may give way to some groups that may not be covered by the governor’s decision.”
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