Judge Denies McGuinness Request for Temporary Restraining Order

By Brown, Mike | Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK), November 5, 2014 | Go to article overview

Judge Denies McGuinness Request for Temporary Restraining Order


Brown, Mike, Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK)


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bishop McGuinness High School lost its first round in court Wednesday in its lawsuit against the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

U.S. federal judge Lee West denied the Irish petition for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order that would have prevented the Oklahoma City school's basketball teams from competing at the Class 6A level in the 2014-15 postseason.

West said the Irish failed to show an imminent threat of irreparable harm that would follow from playing in 6A, even though McGuinness is a 5A-sized high school.

The Irish are challenging a rule that permits the OSSAA to move successful high school programs into a larger classification.

McGuinness argued that playing at the higher level represents a potential health risk for its athletes. But West reasoned that the Irish had not provided evidence of a potential threat in the year since it first voiced its concerns to the OSSAA.

OSSAA attorney Mark Grossman argued that McGuinness routinely plays 6A schools in the regular season "and will continue to do so." McGuinness recently joined a conference comprised mostly of 6A schools.

"It's clear that the judge had read the (documents) presented by both sides and we're pleased that he ruled in the OSSAA's favor," Mark Grossman said.

McGuinness lawyer Mike Lauderdale said the case will continue to the trial phase, which could begin in the next month or two, but had no other comment on the ruling.

Lawyers for both sides were given an hour each to argue McGuinness' request for preliminary relief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Mary Quinn Cooper, a Tulsa lawyer and graduate of Bishop Kelley High School, joined Lauderdale in presenting plaintiff's case.

Rev. Brian O'Brien, Kelley president, also attended the hearing and scrawled notes on a legal pad. …

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