Below is the official release from Liberty Christian Academy:
Lynchburg, VA (June 2, 2014) Today, Liberty Christian Academy filed a federal lawsuit to force the Virginia High School League to end its illegal group boycott of non-public schools. LCA is currently prohibited from participating in the VHSL playoff system and faces a rules scheme designed to prevent public schools from competing with private schools like LCA in athletic events, a scheme which violates antitrust laws.
LCA is represented by Winston & Strawn, a nationally renowned New York firm which has litigated some of the most famous sports antitrust cases in history.
LCA has consistently been denied admission to the VHSL since 2006. Despite agreeing to abide by all VHSL rules and accept measures designed to ensure equality of competition, LCA has not even been given a vote on admission.
VHSL rules bar private school membership. Schools which schedule match-ups with LCA, in violation of VHSL rules, are subject to fines, suspensions, and other penalties. The VHSL has recently adopted a points system for determining qualification for the state football playoffs. Under this system, schools are awarded points for playing public school opponents (even if they lose) but receive no points for playing non-public schools. This system all but ensures that LCA and other non-public schools are excluded from playing football games with competitive public schools in Virginia.
Currently, LCA is forced to travel long distances, even to other states, to compete against high quality opponents. This places a special hardship on student-athletes who are often forced to miss a full day of classes and return from competitions well past midnight, resulting in more lost class time the following day. It is also a high burden for parents and other fans to attend.
The VHSL barriers to free competition deprive local student-athletes from gaining national exposure which could improve their opportunities to be recruited to play in college. The concerted boycott against non-public schools such as LCA also deprives the public of seeing local teams play one another and develop natural rivalries. Some of the best high school rivalries in the nation have resulted from eliminating the barrier between public and non-public schools. One example is in Florida, where Lakeland Senior High School and St. Thomas Aquinas have regularly competed for State Championship titles and are often ranked nationally.
“It is time for Virginia public high schools to start complying with antitrust laws and end their boycott of private schools, whose students deserve the same rights to participate at the highest levels of competition,” said LCA attorney, Jeffrey Kessler.
A copy of the federal court complaint can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.