Mount Sterling parent files lawsuit against KHSAA

Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:04 PM EST
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MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (WKYT) - 16-year-old Davis Johnson lost his 2020 Spring baseball season to COVID-19.

“So that cost him about 45 varsity baseball games, probably 140 varsity at bats and you can’t ever get that back,” said Davis’ father, Dr. Jon Kelly Johnson.

Now he and his father, Dr. Johnson are concerned he could miss out on two consecutive seasons out of the four he’s eligible to play.

“Sometimes you have to fight. Sometimes you have to step into the arena,” said Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson has filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. He and his attorney, Trip Redford, are asking to be granted a temporary injunction, or halt, against the KHSAA’s COVID-19 Return to Play policy.

“Our lawsuit is not that there shouldn’t be some sort of protocol in place. Our lawsuit is that this is excessive to the point where it’s arbitrary,” Redford said.

The Return to Play policy recommends that high school players who test positive for COVID-19 remain in isolation for 21 days, returning to play on day 22, gradually returning to physical activity after day 16 of isolation.

“Designed to ensure that the student athletes, regardless of how mild their symptoms might have been, have no heart damage,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said this is based on recommendations from a Kentucky Medical Association sports subcommittee. Dr. Johnson and Redford said they’re not only concerned that students could miss at least 21 days of practice and games, that it could be even longer, as the recommendations also require an examination by a physician before returning to play.

“There’s no way you can schedule the appointment, get in, get all this done within that window of the 22 days or even 23 days. You might not get in for weeks,” Redford said.

Tackett said these changes from Fall Sports were all recommended by the KMA sports subcommittee.

“We felt like with all these mitigation strategies we have in place, we could continue to safely play and thus far, we think that has occurred,” said Tackett.

Tackett said they have not been served a lawsuit yet.

Redford said they hope to be seen by a judge by next week.

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