Rucker Eligible after Case Dismissed

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:53 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Nov 4, 2010 12:24 PM CDT

Layna Dewell
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY—The OSSAA has signed an agreed order dismissing the lawsuit against Idabel’s K.J. Rucker, it was announced Thursday, making him able to play in the final game of the season.

Rucker’s Attorney, Kevin Sain, informed Oklahoma Sports that the agreed order was signed by the OSSAA and Rucker’s party which dismisses the case and Sain also said the OSSAA simultaneously informed him that they were dismissing the appeal and that there would be no further actions or ramifications taken, thus making Rucker fully eligible.

“To know that K.J. won’t have to worry about this anymore and that he can go on and finish this season and play another sport if he so chooses is a great feeling for me,” said Sain.

Idabel head coach Corey Russell found out the news Thursday from Rucker and shares his relief in the dismissal.

“I am really relieved for him, it’s a weight off his shoulders and he can enjoy it with his classmates and he can move on and finish out his senior season with this off his shoulders and he is delighted,” said Russell.

Russell and Sain both said that from the beginning they have always thought that Rucker should not be punished for the actions, or lack or actions taken, by adults and administration.

“He is a good kid and a nice young man?he is not a cheater and you never have to worry about him or his grades,” said Russell.

The OSSAA previously ruled Rucker ineligible for the first seven games of the 2010 season because of residency rules violations in 2008, when he transferred from Edmond Santa Fe to Tulsa Central.

Rucker played in seven games for Central during his sophomore year, but he was later ruled ineligible for that period because the school had not applied for a hardship waiver. Rucker transferred again at the end of last year after his father became the new assistant coach at Idabel.

The OSSAA ruled that because Rucker played in seven games while ineligible as a sophomore, he must sit out the first seven games of this season to make up for it.

The Rucker family filed an injunction against the OSSAA to fight that ruling, an injunction that was upheld August 27, 2010.

The court then filed a temporary restraining order against the OSSAA, which prohibited the governing body from enforcing its previous punishment thus making Rucker able to play in Idabel’s first game of the season on Sept. 3.

Later on September 29, Rucker was granted a temporary injunction that allowed him to play until the court could gather additional information regarding his eligibility.

Since the case has been dismissed and Rucker is able to play football as well as other sports this year, Coach Russell says Rucker will go out for the basketball team as well as the track team where he participates in the 100 meter dash and the 4X100 relay.

In Idabel’s last game, Rucker actually set the school record with a 98-yard touchdown run that coach Russell says was executed exactly as they drew it up.

All in all, Sain and Coach Russell are pleased with the final dismissal and glad that Rucker can move on without this tainting his playing career.

Read about the original restraining order and temporary injunction involving the OSSAA and Rucker.

Read more on this story at Coaches Aid.