New court filing argues Thomas Kithier should be allowed to play while court case plays out
Michigan high school basketball star mired in transfer controversy
CLARKSTON, Mich. – A new court filing was released Wednesday ahead of an emergency hearing in the case of a Michigan high school basketball star who was ruled ineligible after transferring.
Thomas Kithier, a former Macomb Dakota High School basketball player, was ruled ineligible for his senior season after transferring to Clarkston High School. Michigan High School Athletic Association officials said Kithier's transfer was an athletically motivated move, which is a violation of its rules.
Kithier said he transferred to Clarkston for educational reasons, but Macomb Dakota officials said the move was motivated by athletics.
Kithier's attorneys are taking the disagreement to federal court, filing a lawsuit and a request for a temporary restraining order that they hope will get him playing basketball again by Monday.
Kithier hopes to play amid court proceedings
The latest court filing claims that starting Monday, every day that Kithier is unable to play, he's being "irreparably harmed." The document argues that even if Kithier ultimately wins the case, it won't do him any good if the final decision isn't made until after he's already missed the basketball season.
"By the time this court and the appellate courts are done deciding the merits of this case, Thomas' senior year will be over and his college career will have begun," the court filing reads.
Kithier is committed to play college basketball at Michigan State University. He is the No. 7 player in the state of Michigan and a three-star recruit, according to 247 Sports.
Kithier's lawyers argue he shouldn't be forced to miss the basketball season while the court case is ongoing.
"There is no reason not to err on the side of caution and allow that student to have the full benefits of enrollment in his school while the slow wheels of justice turn," the document reads.
Court filing warns of dangerous precedent
The court document also argues that not allowing Kithier to play sets a dangerous precedent for other students considering transfer options.
"Defendants have sent a very loud message to children throughout this state: If you wish to pursue a better academic future for yourself, you do so at the jeopardy of your ability to participate in extracurricular activities," the document reads.
Kithier's lawyers said other students are watching the case. They argue that if other students see the decision to transfer might force to them to give up their right to participate in sports, it could discourage them from making a move that could help them academically.
Full court filing
You can view the full court filing below.
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