Saturday, September 23, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Back issues
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Empty-Handed State Champs Lose Appeal

(CN) - A North Carolina high school basketball team cannot regain the state title, which it lost when an investigation showed that two players lived outside the district, a state appeals court ruled.

The Northern Guilford High School boys' basketball team won the 2008-09 state Division 3A Championship on the court. But the Nighthawks lost the title when an investigation by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association revealed that two players were ineligible because they did not live within the school district.

The players and coaches sued the association for the reinstatement of the championship, but a Guilford County judge ruled against them.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed last week, saying the players and coaches lacked standing to file suit.

"Plaintiffs had neither a legally protected interest nor a right in the championship awarded by defendant," Judge Ann Marie Calabria wrote for a three-judge panel. "The championship was granted to NGHS by defendant's association. Therefore, when the championship was revoked, it was the school that sustained the loss, not the players."

"Since the school is the only party with a property interest in the championship, plaintiffs' only recourse was to implore NGHS to act on their behalf to achieve relief from defendant's ruling," she added.

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