Archive for Sunday, July 16, 1995

LHS REAX

July 16, 1995

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Lawrence High boys basketball coach Jack Schreiner conducted his one-week team camp last week.

If he dared, Schreiner could start practice today based on a Wichita judge's ruling on Friday claiming the Kansas State High School Activities Association had been operating unconstitutionally.

"I don't know where we stand," said Schreiner, taking a wait-and-see approach. "I'm a little concerned. I've always said I'd like to have more contact with my players and play more games, but I didn't expect anything like this."

Sedgwick County District Judge C. Robert Bell issued a permanent injuction barring the KSHSAA, which regulates school athletics and other extracurricular activities, from enforcing its rules. The decision was based on a lawsuit challenging the amount of players from one high school an organized offseason basketball team could have.

The ruling won't have an immediate impact because the KSHSAA plans to appeal, the organization's administrators said.

LHS football coach Dick Purdy ardently disagreed with the judge's decision.

"I think it's all wrong," said Purdy, about to enter his 38th season of coaching high school football. "I in no way agree with it. I think too many controls are a whole lot better than this situation.

"I don't think it's a good thing for Kansas high school sports. I think there are individuals with individual agendas. As soon as their agendas have been accomplished, two years from now they're not going to care what the net effect of this will be."

Ron Commons, LHS athletic director, was disappointed by the decision.

"The association has worked tremendously hard to make high school athletics what it is today," Commons said. "I don't think they've realized the can of worms opened now."

If the rule is upheld, Purdy said the multi-sport athlete would likely vanish.

"It's going to create one-sport athletes," Purdy said. "They're going to start specializing in a particular sport year around. I don't see that as a good thing at all."

Purdy imagines college coaches approve the ruling, such as Kansas University basketball coach Roy Williams and KU football coach Glen Mason.

"If I was a college coach, I would love the state of Kansas to put in that rule," Purdy said. "They'll say, 'Those kids are competing in my sport year around. They'll be exposed and I'll know more about them.' "

Williams testified last month on behalf of the plaintiffs -- Charles Gunter and Brook Robinson. Williams was unavailable to comment on the judge's ruling because he's on a recruiting trip.

The lawsuit stemmed from Gunter's opposition to a KSHSAA rule while trying to form a summer basketball team that included top players in Wichita.

The KSHSAA has a rule, applying to football, basketball and volleyball, that restricts the number of players an organized team can have from one school during the offseason. The rule prohibits more than three players from the same school from being on the same team.

Gunter and Robinson claimed the KSHSAA should have had no jursdiction over non-school activities, which the judge ruled in favor of on Friday.

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