MARIETTA — Two former Marietta High football players ruled ineligible for the 2018 season have filed a lawsuit against the Georgia High School Association in an effort to get back on the field this year.
An emergency hearing is scheduled in Cobb Superior Court Monday afternoon as the boys’ attorneys want the court to intervene and overturn the GHSA’s decision.
The team was forced to vacate last year’s wins after it was discovered that two highly rated college prospects, Rashad Torrence and Dawson Ellington, lived outside the district and that their paperwork filed by the district contained errors. Because Ellington also ran track, the boys track and field team had to vacate its season also.
Both Torrence and Ellington had parents employed as teachers at elementary schools within the district, their attorneys say, allowing them to attend Marietta High but not play football, according to GHSA bylaws.
Attorney Yari Lawson, who is representing Ellington in the suit, maintains the athletes did nothing wrong. He places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the high school and its athletic department, which he said misled the families into believing their children were able to play football at Marietta High.
The GHSA’s executive director, Robin Hines, said a high school student who lives outside the school district can participate in athletics only if their custodial parent is a certified employee — that is, someone like a teacher or administrator who carries certification — at the same high school.
In this case, because the parents were employed at Marietta elementary schools, their children were not eligible to play varsity football.