Case involves student-athlete’s plan to
transfer from Fred T. Foard to Maiden
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By CHRIS HOBBS
NEWTON – The dismissal of a civil lawsuit against the Catawba County Board of Education/Catawba County Schools (CCS) over an athletic eligibility decision has been appealed.
A date for the appeal — filed by Saleisha N. Averhart of Raleigh-based Bowens and Averhart — has not been set. The notice of appeal was given on May 24 and filed by the Catawba County Clerk of Court on May 26.
Crystal Davis, attorney for the Catawba County Board of Education, confirmed a lawsuit involving athletics and an appeal have been filed, but declined further comment because it is an ongoing matter.
Davis said all requests about the lawsuit should be sent to her, as individual Catawba County personnel named in additional documents in the case file will not comment on pending litigation.
CCS Superintendent Dr. Matt Stover and Dr. Leslie Barnett, chair of the Catawba County Board of Education, are named in the lawsuit as individuals and in their official capacities.
According to court documents obtained by HobbsDailyReport.com, Averhart is representing D.B., by and through his guardians, C.A.B. and G.B.
Although additional court documents HobbsDailyReport.com has copies of indicate the names of the plantiffs, the website will not name them because the case involves a minor.
The original lawsuit — filed by The Deaton Law Firm from Denver (N.C.) — said at issue is a decision by Stover that a male student athlete who played sports (football and basketball) last season as a freshman at Fred T. Foard is not eligible to play sports at Maiden for 365 days (until the 2023-24 school year).
The decision is consistent with North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) transfer and eligibility rules but the lawsuit contends the decision is incorrect because the family now resides in the Maiden district after purchasing a home there.
They also owned a home in the Foard district then later sold it. At the time of the move to Maiden, the student-athlete played junior varsity basketball at Fred T. Foard.
The school a student is assigned to attend is a local decision made by the Catawba County Board of Education.
The notice of appeal says, in part: “giving Notice of Appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals from the court Order on Defendant’s Motion of Dismiss for lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, signed by the court on April 28, 2022.”
The plantiffs are seeking a reversal of Stover’s decision.
HobbsDailyReport.com has copies of affidavits of multiple individuals involved with the matter and also e-mails regarding actions, phone calls, meetings, etc., taken leading up to the decision but is not publishing those – at least at this time – until further review(s) of privacy rights.