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.
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