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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 14, 1998
Contact: John Johnson or Mike Clifford 517.332.5046

MHSAA Files Response To Gender Equity Lawsuit

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Sept. 14 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association will file Tuesday (Sept. 15) its response to a legal action brought here in United States District Court that attempts to empower the organization to force the public, private and parochial schools in its statewide membership to change the sports they sponsor and the time of the year when they conduct sports seasons.

Among the MHSAA's filings to the June suit are:

· Motions for dismissal of all claims;
· A pleading that suggests the named plaintiffs are not parties with real interests as they have not been subject to any injury;
· An affidavit of MHSAA Executive Director John E. "Jack" Roberts that the MHSAA is neither a direct nor indirect recipient of federal financial assistance;
· A motion for more definitive statements or to strike many portions of the complaint which are so vague or general as to make it impossible for the MHSAA to respond; and
· Special and affirmative defenses, including that the plaintiffs lack standing, that the MHSAA is not a proper party, and that there is no fundamental right to participate in interscholastic athletics and thus no justiciable 14th Amendment issue.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which does not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools may participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.

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