U.S. Supreme Court

Court Upholds Recruiting Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a state athletic association did not violate a school’s First Amendment rights when it imposed a penalty for violating its no-recruiting rule.

Brentwood Academy, a private school near Nashville, had sued the athletic association after it imposed a penalty for a coach’s letter inviting prospective athletes to attend spring training, according to Associated Press.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his opinion for the court that the school voluntarily joined the athletic group. Games have rules, he said. “It is only fair that Brentwood follow them.”

He said the case is similar to one in which the court upheld a state bar association’s limits on solicitations by lawyers. “The dangers of undue influence that exist when a lawyer chases an ambulance are also present when a high school coach contacts an eighth grader,” Stevens said.

The decision is Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association v. Brentwood Academy, No. 06–427 (PDF).

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