The Alabama football playoffs will go ahead, thanks to a final verdict from the Alabama Supreme Court.
As first reported by the Birmingham News, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a verdict that supported the Alabama School Athletic Association's initial ruling that Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) High must forfeit nine of its victories for using an ineligible player. Those forfeits dropped the undefeated Cougars to 1-9, knocking them from the playoffs and officially setting up a Friday night playoff matchup between Mountain Brook (Ala.) High and Gasden City (Ala.) High, which takes Clay-Chalkville's seeding.
"This is a very positive decision by the Alabama Supreme Court," AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese said in an AHSAA release. "It again affirms that the AHSAA has the right to interpret and enforce its own rules which are established by and for the benefit of our member schools."
The Supreme Court's involvement became necessary after Judge Helen Shores Lee from the state's Jefferson County Circuit Court sided with Clay-Chalkville's appeal of the ruling that had preemptively ended the Cougars' season. That brought on a temporary restraining order which halted the playoffs from moving forward without Clay-Chalkville.
Yet that court order led to a countering injunction from Gasden City (Ala.) High, which wanted to ensure it would get to play its planned matchup.
In the end, Gasden City got what it wanted, though it may have taken more than one lawsuit more than most planned.
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- Alabama Supreme Court