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Mater Dei, Diocese of Orange respond to CIF Southern Section

November 23, 2010 |  3:37 pm

Not waiting to battle it out in court, the CIF Southern Section, Santa Ana Mater Dei and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange are sending out competing statements.

The Southern Section gave its response to a lawsuit filed by Mater Dei and the Diocese Tuesday morning.

Mater Dei responded Tuesday afternoon with a statement from Diocese spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.

 "Mater Dei felt compelled to challenge the unfair treatment of its student-athletes by the California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section (CIF-SS) in court, only after all attempts to rectify this regrettable situation without pursuing a legal remedy went unreciprocated.

"The legal action being pursued does not seek any award of monetary damages, but a resolution that will bring an end to the inequitable and unjust treatment of Mater Dei and its student-athletes. It is unfortunate that the actions of CIF-SS have obligated Mater Dei to pursue such a legal remedy in this case and in so doing commit the public’s as well as Mater Dei’s precious resources to this avoidable adjudication.

"This complaint stems from the biased application of CIF rules and regulations pertaining to Mater Dei’s sports programs and does not relate to one specific case but an enduring practice. CIF-SS has applied rules relating to the eligibility of student athletes at Mater Dei unfairly and inconsistently.

"Mater Dei has been a member of the CIF-SS for nearly 60 years and has complied fully with all obligations required of it as a member school. This situation is an unwanted and avoidable distraction for our school and its student-athletes. We hope for a just and expedient resolution to this matter."

My comment is the lawyers getting paid to write this stuff are enjoying it. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 20 in Orange County Superior Court.

-- Eric Sondheimer