Cook County

Judge Stands on Decision Allowing Chicago Public Schools Athletes to Take Part in Tournaments

The IHSA asked a judge to disqualify student-athletes who advanced to Saturday's state meet

After Chicago Public Schools student athletes watched the Chicago Teacher's Union strike go on for weeks and then having the IHSA strike policy leaving their state playoff dreams up in the air, the Illinois Appellate court said Thursday that CPS runners will be able to take part in Saturday's meet.

"One team (Mather) and 13 individual CPS runners will have a chance to finish their seasons out in style (in Peoria Saturday)," stated a press release.

The Illinois High School Association on Monday appealed a judge's decision allowing Chicago Public Schools student-athletes to take part in cross country meets, according to court records. 

CPS cross country student-athletes automatically advanced to sectional races at Lake Park High School in suburban Roselle on Saturday following an emergency injunction granted by a judge.

In the appeal filed late Monday afternoon, the IHSA asked the judge to disqualify CPS runners who advanced to Saturday's state meet in Peoria.

In accordance with IHSA policy, hundreds of CPS athletes weren't allowed to take part in competitions during the Chicago Teachers Union strike, which ended Oct. 31. In his ruling Friday, Judge Neil Cohen said irreparable harm would have been done to student-athletes if they weren't able to run, and said allowing them to compete won't hurt the IHSA.

A separate judge ruled against the student-athletes on Oct. 25. 

The IHSA board previously voted to waive the eight-game requirement for CPS football teams, allowing them to take part in playoffs if the strike was settled by Nov. 1.

On Thursday, the Appellate Court said they would not rule on IHSA's appeal because it wasn’t going to hear the case until next Tuesday, meaning after Saturday’s race. The court said it will be a moot point by then and therefore, the judge's ruling from last Friday stands.  

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