CIF-SS statement on Diocese/Mater Dei complaint

November 23rd, 2010, 11:47 am ·

· posted by Steve Fryer

(Update: Nov. 24: Diocese of Orange response to CIF-SS statement

The CIF-Southern Section, after not reacting publicly to the lawsuit filed against it by the Diocese of Orange on behalf of Mater Dei, this morning issued a statement on the matter, which goes to court Dec. 10 at the Central Justice Center of the Superior Court.

The statement:

LOS ALAMITOS -- The CIF-SS has been sued by the Roman Catholic Diocese acting as the

representative for Mater Dei High School. The Section has received numerous requests for comment upon

this suit. The following is intended to briefly respond to these inquiries.

The most recent significant development occurred Oct. 29 when CIF-SS filed a moti on in Orange County

Superior Court seeking to dismiss the Mater Dei lawsuit. A judge will hear that request Dec. 20. The

following points are intended to address specific questions from the press:

· Mater Dei's original complaint charged CIF-SS with violation of a “breach of contract” due to alleged

unfair treatment and bias in making student eligibility findings.

· The timing of the Mater Dei lawsuit is parti cularly dubious because it was filed Sept. 29 – while

the Section was still in the process of reviewing eligibility issues related to a student-athlete at the


· Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Mater Dei had never sought to avail itself of the internal Secti on

and State complaint procedures open to all member schools. In fact, Mater Dei had failed to raise

any concerns or pursue appeals from any appropriate entity, including the CIF-SS Commissioner

of Athletics, CIF-SS Executive Committee and CIF State Executive Director. Given this, the lawsuit

was abrupt and surprising.

· The Section's ultimate determination concerning the Mater Dei student athlete in questi on was

favorable to that school. The student was deemed eligible to play in his sport of choice – an outcome

that directly contradicts allegations still being made against the Section. Given the timing and filing

of the litigation, it is not unreasonable for a person to infer that the purpose of filing this suit is an

attempt to threaten the Section or otherwise unduly influence its decisions.

It is unfortunate when unnecessary legal actions strain already limited public and private resources.

We look forward to presenti ng our case for dismissal to a judge. Until then, it would be inappropriate to

off er any additional comment about this case or to speculate about the motivati on behind Mater Dei's

desire to persist with this lawsuit.

Posted in : Uncategorized, mater dei, cif,


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