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Mater Dei lawyers challenge new CIF rule

December 16, 2010 | 11:40 am

An amended complaint filed this week in Orange County Superior Court by lawyers for Santa Ana Mater Dei and the Diocese of Orange challenges the enforcement of a controversial CIF rule adopted in 2009 regarding "athleticially motivated" transfers, alleging that the Southern Section has been using the rule to discriminate against Mater Dei athletes.

A scheduled hearing on Monday involving Mater Dei's lawsuit against the Southern Section has been postponed.

The rule has been used by Southern Section Commissioner Jim Staunton to declare athletes ineligible for one year if there's evidence they transferred for sports reasons. By challenging the rule and calling it "unreasonably broad and undefined authority to determine the athletic eligibility of transferring students," Mater Dei could pick up support from other parents and schools unhappy with the rule.

In blunt terms, the lawyers charge that the Southern Section "consistently, intentionally and systematically has engaged in arbitrary actions against Mater Dei by issuing and enforcing unsupported and erroneous findings and rulings relating to eligibility of students athletes at Mater Dei."

-- Eric Sondheimer