Attorneys push for another hearing on Goose Creek player's eligibility

Justice Rogers emerges from court.
Justice Rogers emerges from court.

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Attorneys for a Goose Creek High School football player who was ruled ineligible by the South Carolina High School League, causing his team to be disqualified from the playoffs, are trying to get their case heard again.

On Friday, attorneys for 18-year-old Justice Roemello Rogers filed a motion to reconsider a request for injunction on the SCHSL's ruling. A hearing has not yet been scheduled, according to court records.

Last Wednesday, a judge denied the injunction during an emergency hearing after ruling the defendants in the case, the SCHSL, had not been properly notified prior to the hearing.

That injunction called for Rogers' reinstatement to the football team in time for the Division II 4A state playoffs semifinals, which would have restored the football team's eligibility and given them a chance to face Northwestern.

As the injunction failed, Northwestern defeated Bluffton and moved onto the state championship game, and it now appears any new injunction granted would only benefit Rogers' eligibility for the Gators' basketball team.

Rogers' attorneys claim the teen is eligible under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which was enacted to prevent discrimination of people with disabilities by public agencies. The attorney claim Rogers, a special needs student with a learning disability, qualifies under the act.

Goose Creek's season ended prematurely in early November after the SCHSL ruled Rogers an ineligible player. Goose Creek High School officials said a clerical error led to them believing Rogers had only attended three years of high school, not four.

Confusion over his enrollment in a group home in the Upstate during his "freshman year" also contributed to pitfalls in the player's high school record.