United States, Nevada, Reno - 01/22/2020 (PRDistribution.com)
Jason D. Guinasso, managing partner of Hutchison & Steffen’s Northern Nevada office, and Alex R. Velto, an associate attorney in the office, represent the plaintiffs, Excel Christian School and five students who attend the school. The students all lawfully reside in Nevada on F-1 International Student Visas. The students all wish to play sports for their school. But, none of them can because of the NIAA’s unreasonable and unconstitutional requirement. One student, a 12th grader, is completely barred from participating in any sports at all. According to NIAA rules, 12th graders may not play a sport other than Varsity. This, coupled with the NIAA’ s prohibition on international student playing in varsity sports, laves her without any option. The other students are all functionally ineligible to patriciate because Excel Christian School does not often field non-Varsity sports. With only 45 students, there are not enough student athletes to field teams in other divisions. The suit seeks to even the playing field and to force the NIAA to apply the law consistent with the United States’ Constitution’s Equal Protection mandate.
For International Students, sports mean much more than wins and who loses. The students play sports because it brings them into the campus community. They play sports because it brings them closer to their fellow students when language barrier otherwise keeps them apart. And after traveling thousands of miles to attend school in the United States, sports allow the students to integrate into western culture on equal footing with their classmates. Each day the NIAA prevents the students from participating in sports is another day they cannot get back. It’s another missed opportunity for personal achievement and belonging. It’s a slap in the face to the long history of athletes at the forefront of civil rights and integration.
The complaint and exhibits to the complaint can be made available upon request. Please email [email protected], or call (775) 853-8746.
Hutchison & Steffen is a solution-driven, client-centric law firm employing over 40 experienced attorneys and serving clients across Nevada from our offices in Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe. For more information, please visit hutchlegal.com.
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