OHSAA obtains additional legal support in defense of lawsuit


COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Friday that Cincinnati-based law firm Keating, Muething and Klekamp PLL (KMK) will assist the OHSAA in defense of the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Hamilton County by Roger Bacon High School and the Greater Catholic League Coed.

KMK will join OHSAA general counsel Steve Craig, Esq., in defense of the process that OHSAA member schools voted into place in 2014 that determines how schools are assigned to postseason divisions in football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball.

“We look forward to vigorously defending the OHSAA’s position,” said Joe Callow, partner at KMK. “We believe that the case has no merit and we are in the process of exploring all defenses and legal options.”

“We will aggressively pursue defense of the bylaws that our member schools adopted,” said Jerry Snodgrass, OHSAA Executive Director. “Membership in the OHSAA, which is renewed annually by each school, is voluntary. By being a member, our schools make an agreement with each other to follow their constitution and bylaws that they adopt for themselves. We have a referendum voting process in place that permits member schools to propose and vote for changes to the bylaws and constitution and feel that any change should come about through this established process.”

On Wednesday, the OHSAA was informed that the Court of Common Pleas in Hamilton County granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) that prohibits the OHSAA from utilizing a component of the Competitive Balance process against St. Bernard Roger Bacon High School and the other seven members of the GCL coed division.

However, since OHSAA bylaws apply equally to all member schools, both public and non-public, the TRO has statewide implications. The court’s TRO was specific to the Tier 1 factor, which addresses how non-public schools designate their official feeder schools.

As stated Wednesday, the ruling has no effect on regular season schedules.

In addition to Roger Bacon, members of the GCL coed division include Kettering Archbishop Alter, Dayton Carroll, Middletown Bishop Fenwick, Cincinnati Purcell Marian, Hamilton Badin, Dayton Chaminade Julienne and Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas.

The OHSAA’s release from Wednesday is posted at https://bit.ly/2vP6loU

Details on the Competitive Balance process are posted at

http://www.ohsaa.org/School-Resources/Competitive-Balance-Resource-Center

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