SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Greene County judge has ruled for a high school quarterback in his lawsuit against Springfield Public Schools and the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
The decision from Judge Derek Ankrom means Glendale senior Kylan Mabins will be able to suit up tonight in the team’s game at Bolivar.
Mabins was ruled ineligible after transferring from Kickapoo to Glendale earlier this year. MSHAA ruled that he transferred due to athletic reasons and undue influence from a Glendale coach. But Mabins sued, arguing that he transferred due to discrimination he faced at Kickapoo and thus he should be allowed to play due to hardship reasons.
Springfield Public Schools has denied the allegations brought forth by Mabins.
A two-day hearing was held this week in Springfield with Mabins and several SPS coaches and administrators taking the stand.
After taking the issue under advisement for two days, Judge Ankrom ultimately decided on a preliminary injunction that would allow Mabins to get back on the field.
In his order, the judge had some harsh words for Springfield Public Schools and MSHSAA, accusing them of fraud, collusion and retaliation against Mabins.
Mabins’s attorney Jay Kirksey said he had tears in his eyes upon reading the judge’s order.
“This case is bigger than Kylan,” Kirksey said. “And I guess this case is about every student athlete in the Springfield school system and the state.”
Springfield Public Schools released a statement saying it disagrees with the decision and anticipated an appeal:
“Springfield Public Schools respectfully disagrees with the court’s decision today and we anticipate that it will be appealed. The district continues to deny the allegations of inappropriate conduct contained in the plaintiff’s petition and remains confident that our staff have, at all times, acted appropriately, lawfully and consistent with the athletic processes required by Board of Education policies and the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA). Those processes and policies are designed to ensure that all students are treated fairly. Finally, the district is troubled by the future implications of the decision, which in our opinion, will have a negative impact on the ability of schools and MSHSAA to enforce the policies that govern high school athletics and activities statewide.”