SYRACUSE Only hours after the Skaneateles high school varsity football program was suspended by Section III Athletics and their undefeated season apparently abruptly ended, a state judge has temporarily blocked the suspension.
State Supreme Court Justice Brian DeJoseph granted the school district’s request for a temporary restraining order at about 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, and scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, on the merits of the school’s appeal, according to a report by the Syracuse Post Standard.
The injunction means the Lakers will play their Section C semifinal game against Utica at 3 p.m. Saturday in Chittenango as previously scheduled.
If the suspension had stood, the Lakers would have been forced to forfeit the game and end their season.
Skaneateles school district lawyer Tom Seeley, Lakers head coach Tim Green (himself an attorney) and Green's attorney, former U.S. attorney Dan French, went to the state supreme court in Syracuse together late Friday afternoon to file the injunction papers.
The Skaneateles school district issued a statement shortly after the judge's ruling. It stated: "We received information this morning that the Section III Athletic Council, pursuant to Rule 19(d), determined that the Skaneateles Central School District football program be suspended from Section III competition for the remainder of the season, inclusive of sectional playoffs.
"The decision was not what we anticipated. Based on the timing and conditions of the decision, we petitioned for a stay to allow our team to play in the semifinal sectional game and were granted the stay.
"Our football team has had a tremendous season and we want to demonstrate our continued support for our student-athletes."
After emerging from the closed-door court session Friday evening, Green told the Post Standard, “I’m very happy to announce our kids in Skaneateles can play football."