Student with disability asks to play sports

Fighting for the right to play

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LANSING, Mich. - A 19-year-old with Down syndrome has asked Michigan lawmakers to side with him in his efforts to retain his high school sports eligibility next school year.

Under the current regulations, Eric Dompierre can't play high school football or basketball as a senior next school year because he had turned 19 prior to Sept. 1. However, he is asking the Michigan High School Athletic Association for a waiver because his disability caused him to twice be held back early in his school career.

He and his father testified Wednesday in front of the Senate Education Committee. The elder Dompierre points out that 23 other states allow waivers for students with disabilities.

Athletic association officials didn't attend Wednesday's meeting. Their bylines can only be changes by a two-thirds vote of member schools.

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