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3 N.J.A.R. 193

Smith, Scott v. Interscholastic Athletic Association, New Jersey
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Citation: 3 N.J.A.R. 193
Decision Date: 1981
Agency: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Synopsis: Petitioner, a high school senior, applied to the New Jersey Inter- scholastic Athletic Association for a waiver of the 'eight-semester' rule which prohibits students from participating in interscholastic sports after the expiration of eight consecutive semesters following entrance into ninth grade. The Association denied the application and the petitioner requested a hearing. The administrative law judge found that the petitioner had repeated ninth grade on the advice of local educators who based their recom- mendation on legitimate educational and social considerations. The judge found that the decision to repeat the year was made for valid reasons and was not intended to advance the petitioner's sports ca- reer. In addition, the judge found that the Association, in making its decision on the application, had failed to follow consistently its own guidelines for granting a waiver and had granted waivers to individ- uals in situations like the petitioner's in the past. The administrative law judge concluded that the Association's fail- ure to apply any definite standards in its decisions or to provide any reasons for its actions resulted in arbitrary and unreasonable action. Accordingly, the judge ordered that the Association grant the peti- tioner the requested waiver to allow him to compete in interscholastic sports. Richard F. Collier, Jr. Esq., for Petitioner (Pitney, Hardin & Kipp, Attorneys) John J. Convery, Esq., for Respondent (Harold J. Ruvoldt, Sr., Attorney)