OSSEO, Minn. — An Osseo Senior High baseball player is suing the Minnesota State High School League after he was refused an extra year of eligibility despite an anxiety disorder.
The rising senior, who is not named in court records, has played baseball for his Osseo each year since the seventh grade. But because he repeated the ninth grade, he has used up all six years of eligibility under league rules.
In March, the student asked the league to make an exception because of his disability. He’s been diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and a learning disorder, according to court records.
“His success in baseball has been critical to his self-confidence, mental health and sense of belonging,” the lawsuit reads.
The league’s eligibility committee and board of directors denied the request in May and June, saying the student never “lost the opportunity to participate” in sports for 12 consecutive semesters.
The league grants eligibility exceptions in some cases, such as students who are forced to withdraw from school. Officials determined the Osseo student did not qualify.
The student says in the lawsuit that a seventh year of eligibility would represent a “reasonable accommodation of his disability” under the state’s Human Rights Act.
He’s seeking attorney’s fees and a judge’s ruling to allow him to keep playing baseball for the school.
The lawsuit against both the league and the Osseo school district first was filed last month in Hennepin County District Court. Lawyers agreed to move it to federal court this week.