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'Midwest Charity Classic' canceled after waiver refusal for Ky. players, father of UK commit says

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Posted at 1:41 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 23:10:45-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Jeff Sheppard, father of UK commit Reed Sheppard, told LEX 18 the Midwest Charity Classic has been canceled after KHSAA refused to give waivers to allow Kentucky players to play in the game.

The Midwest Charity Classic was supposed to raise money for eastern Kentucky flood victims.

"Due to the circumstances surrounding Bylaw 9 the Midwest Charity Classic has been canceled," organizers behind the Midwest Charity Classic said in a statement. "Refunds have been issued to all ticket purchasers. We thank everyone for their support of the event."

"Fayette County Public Schools has clear processes for facility usage requests, which were not followed in this case," Fayette County Public Schools said in a statement. "While we fully support any effort to assist the victims of flooding in Eastern Kentucky, this event would put participating players in violation of KHSAA bylaw 9, and we cannot support that."

The Sheppards told LEX18 they understand the position of the KHSAA, but admit the situation is unfortunate.

"I was disappointed just because it was going to be a fun experience to be able to play against some of the best players in the nation and do it for a good cause and have fun with it, but then at the same, it's just part of it and you gotta get over it and regroup and try to figure out another way to do it," said Reed Sheppard.

ORIGINAL STORY:

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.