Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association v. Brentwood Academy
U.S. Supreme Court
127 S.Ct. 2489
June 21, 2007
The Brentwood case has traveled a long and winding road over the last 10 years, leading it to the door of the U.S. Supreme Court on three separate occasions. This dispute involved constitutional issues of free speech and due process relating to an anti-recruiting rule adopted by the state athletic association. The Supreme Court granted certiorari twice and rendered opinions on both occasions. With the most recent decision, it appears the litigation has finally concluded.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) is a nonprofit corporation responsible for administering, coordinating, and regulating the junior and senior high school athletic programs in Tennessee (TSSAA, 1999). Brentwood Academy is a coeducational, independent, college-preparatory school (Brentwood Academy, n.d.). Brentwood voluntarily joined TSSAA, and its teams regularly participated in athletic contests sponsored and regulated by TSSAA (Brentwood Academy vs. TSSAA, 1998). By joining the association, Brentwood agreed to abide by the constitution and bylaws of the association (TSSAA, 2007).
Facts of the Case
In 1997, rival public high school coaches alleged that Brentwood violated the TSSAA rule against recruiting prospective student-athletes. The recruiting rule, found in Article II, Section 17 of the TSSAA bylaws, prohibited the use of undue influence on a student by any person connected with the school to secure or to retain a …