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Lawsuit Against UIL Dismissed

Media Contact: Kim Rogers
Phone: 512-471-5883
Fax: 512-471-6589

Date: Sep 08, 2010
Category: General Information


AUSTIN, TX— A lawsuit filed by the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) against the University Interscholastic League (UIL) was dismissed by the Third Court of Appeals in Austin on August 27, 2010.  This decision reverses the trial court’s order, which denied UIL sovereign immunity.

“We are pleased that the authority for UIL member schools to make rules for high school contests was upheld,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.  “We’re excited about the future for all officials and the member schools they serve.  We have always supported and appreciated our officials in all our contests, and without them, we couldn’t have the quality of competition in our state.  We look forward to working with them in the future in a positive manner.”

“The appellate court’s ruling makes clear that the UIL is the state agency that the legislature has entrusted with regulating school sports in Texas.  The UIL will continue to live up to that mandate, seeking to make policy that best serves Texas schools, dedicated officials, and—most importantly—Texas student athletes,” said UIL attorney Greg Coleman.

The suit originated following the decision of the UIL Legislative Council to require games played by UIL member schools to be officiated by UIL registered officials.  This rule change, in addition to a significant pay increase for officials was unanimously approved by the UIL Legislative Council in October 2009, and approved by the TEA Commissioner of Education in November 2009 as required by the Texas Education Code.

Originally intended to be effective for the beginning of the 2010-11 school year, the rule changes to Section 1204 of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules and pay increase for officials are slated to go into effect on November 1, 2010.

“The UIL staff looks forward to working closely with the officials and UIL member schools to facilitate the smooth implementation of the rule changes approved by the Council,” said UIL Policy Director Dr. Mark Cousins.

The UIL will provide free registration for individuals desiring to officiate UIL member school contests, along with optional services that can be purchased if they choose.

Since the dismissal of its original lawsuit, TASO has filed a second lawsuit against UIL officials. A temporary restraining order requested by TASO that would have prevented the UIL from registering officials was denied Tuesday.

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