St. Louis-area lawyer sues IHSA over return-to-play plan

The Illinois High School Association may have to defend its return-to-play plan in court.

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Chicago Christian football coach Nick Cook sprays disinfectant on equipment after a football practice session in Palos Heights on June 8.

Chicago Christian football coach Nick Cook sprays disinfectant on equipment after a football practice session in Palos Heights on June 8.

Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun-Times

The Illinois High School Association may have to defend its return-to-play plan in court.

Attorney Thomas DeVore filed a preliminary injunction against the IHSA and Hillsboro School District Monday on behalf of his two children that attend Hillsboro High School, which is in the St. Louis area.

DeVore previously sued Governor J.B. Pritzker’s adminstration over the stay-at-home rules enforced earlier this spring.

The lawsuit claims the IHSA’s plan, which involves masks and social distancing, will cause “immediate and irreparable harm” to the rights of student-athletes. It also alleges that the rules are “the illegal product of collusion between state agencies, [IHSA Executive Director Craig] Anderson and the IHSA.”

The lawsuit contains an email exchange between Pritzker’s administration and the IHSA in which student-athletes wearing masks is discussed.

“We are aware of the lawsuit and do not plan on commenting on ongoing litigation at this time,” Anderson said in a statement. “All of our efforts remain focused on working with the top medical professionals in the state to try and provide the safest framework possible for the return of our students to IHSA sports and activities in 2020-21.”

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