Michigan high school basketball star will not be allowed to play during eligibility case
Judge declines injunction to allow Thomas Kithier to play during court case
CLARKSTON, Mich. – A Michigan high school basketball star received bad news Thursday in his fight to play amid a dispute over his eligibility.
Thomas Kithier and his family went to court Thursday hoping a judge would grant an injunction, allowing him to play for Clarkston High School during the court process. The judge denied the injunction, so Kithier will be sidelined while the legal battle ensues.
The Michigan State University basketball commit transferred to Clarkston from Macomb Dakota High School for his senior year. He was ruled ineligible by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, which determined the transfer was athletically motivated.
Kithier hoped to play amid court proceedings
The latest court filing claimes 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 argued 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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