LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A rule in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's bylaws will prevent two Kentucky basketball prospects from participating in a charity game designed to raise money for flood-impacted Kentuckians.
KHSAA drew criticism on Twitter and other social media circles after its Twitter account posted a statement stating that "no waivers will be given" to any Kentucky high school players wishing to participate in the game.
The bylaw stipulates that students who have participated in high school sports in the past cannot participate on non-school sponsored teams between the first day of the school year and the end of the competitive season.
"When you have a rule that you can summarily make exceptions to, the rule by its very face becomes arbitrary and capricious," Julian Tackett, KHSAA commissioner, said. "And you no longer have a rule. That's what the courts have found. You cannot be arbitrary."
Tackett pointed out that the KHSAA Board of Control proposed amending 'Bylaw 9' to remove the preseason restrictions on players. The proposal was rejected at the organization's annual meeting in the Fall of 2021.
The Midwest Charity Classic, scheduled for August 27 at Frederick Douglass High School, was organized as a fundraising opportunity for flood victims in eastern Kentucky. The two Kentucky players, Reed Sheppard and Travis Perry were slated to join more than a dozen five and four-star recruits from across the country.
Tackett proposed that Sheppard and Perry join the game in a coaching capacity. He also said KHSAA members--the schools--could operate within the rules and still raise money for charity.
"If our schools really wanna help, how about all 280 of them play in their first game and send the proceeds down [to eastern Kentucky]," Tackett proposed.