Judge denies Oklahoma City’s request for replay of controversial high school football game

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Thursday morning, an Oklahoma County judge denied a metro high school’s request to intervene in a controversial high school football game.

The judge’s decision means a ruling by the OSSAA, to not replay any of the game between Douglass and Locust Grove, stands.

The district believes a penalty that was incorrectly applied took away what could have been Douglass' winning touchdown.

In his order, the judge said this is not a matter for the court to decide.

Many in the legal field agree.

“We never, ever feel bad about fighting for our students. That's why we're here. We're here to support them,” said Brandon Carey, an attorney for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

It was a disappointing day for some of those in the Oklahoma City Public Schools District, especially for those at Douglass High School.

“Certainly, there's disappointment with that, but throughout the whole process, they knew that was a potential outcome,” said Keith Sinor, athletic director for OKCPS.

While it wasn't what they had hoped for, the district's attorney says they will not appeal the decision.

“The judge's order at this point is good enough for us and we are not going to take this any farther,” said Carey.

“Essentially, the judge said high school football games should not be determined in a courtroom. They should be determined on the field,” said Mark Van Paasschen, a local attorney and former sports reporter.

Van Paasschen says the judge's order shows this was not a decision he took lightly.

“He would have opened the door to any sort of sporting event in Oklahoma, maybe nationwide, being determined in a courtroom other than on the field of play or on the court if he had ruled other than how he did,” he said.

In his order, the judge said he believes it borders on “unreasonable” to think the court is “more equipped or qualified than the Defendant to decide the outcome or any portion of a high school football game.”

As for the district, while they accept the decision, there are things they hope the OSSAA will consider changing in the future.

“Our athletic director has spoken about something very simple and that is the head official should have a rule book in his pocket,” said Carey.

The OSSAA released a statement this afternoon saying:

“We appreciate that the judge looked at this situation carefully, and concluded that judicial intervention was not appropriate in these circumstances.”

The OSSAA also announced Locust Grove will take on Heritage Hall on Friday, Dec. 12, in the semi-finals of the class 3A playoffs.

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