The Alabama High School Athletic Association has made its moves in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Maori Davenport’s family in Pike County Circuit Court.
The AHSAA has asked that the case either be moved to Montgomery County Circuit Court or dismissed altogether. Lawyers for the AHSAA have also asked that Charles Henderson High and its principal be added as plaintiffs.
Its motion cites “Participant Agreement, Consent, Release, and Venue,” that was signed by Davenport’s parents in October that mandates any action taken against the AHSAA to occur in Montgomery.
According to the Troy Messenger, Jim Williams, the attorney representing the AHSAA said that the reason for wanting the school and principal to be added to the suit was because it claims the school requested the eligibility ruling from the governing body.
The Davenport snafu stems from an $850 check that was sent to her from USA Basketball. She played in an overseas tournament for its U-18 team which won a gold medal.
The error came because USA Basketball did not consent with the AHSAA or Charles Henderson High School before sending the $850 check – and the AHSAA prohibits stipends of larger than $250.
The AHSAA claims that the Davenport family accepted and cashed the check and only returned the money three months after it was received. USA Basketball says it was returned immediately.
Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan granted an emergency motion earlier in the month which allowed Davenport to take the court once again. In her first game back, she scored 25 points in a 72-17 Trojans’ victory over Carroll.
The Alabama state legislature has taken moves to ensure greater oversight of the AHSAA in the future. A Jan. 22 hearing was slated to take place in Pike County, but that hearing has since been postponed to next month.