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U.S. Supreme Court

A High-Impact Ruling for Athletic Rule

Posted Jun 22, 2007 10:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding a no-recruiting rule is likely to have an impact across the nation.

The court upheld an athletic association rule barring high school coaches from recruiting athletes. The rule did not infringe the free speech rights of a coach who sent a letter to students, the justices held in a 9-0 decision. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association v. Brentwood Academy, No. 06–427 (PDF).

All 50 states have high school athletic associations with similar no-recruiting rules, the Los Angeles Times reports. Association officials had feared a contrary ruling would have undermined all their rules.

Six years ago the court ruled in the same case that the athletic association was a state actor because its operations were mixed with government functions, the New York Times reports. The National Collegiate Athletic Association does not have that status, though, due to a 1988 Supreme Court ruling.

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