Top 10 legal issues facing high school sports programs

The National Federation of State High School Assns. has come out with its top 10 sports law issues impacting high school athletic programs.

They are resulting in legal claims against districts. These issues appeared in a story from High School Today writted by Lee Green, an attorney and professor in Baldwin City, Ks.

No. 10 in importance is retaliation against complainants. Suits are being filed by coaches or parents who complain about a Title IX violation, then feel they have been retaliated against.

No. 9 is Title IX and gender equity. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in education.


No. 8 is disabilities laws with athletic programs. Schools are obligated to provide opportunities for students with disabilities.

No. 7 is transgender policies for athletic programs.

No. 6 is sexual harassment in athletic programs. Claims involving inappropriate relationships between athletes and coaches continue to arise.

No. 5 is hazing in athletic programs. It’s one of the most “highly litigated claims against districts,” according to the High School Today story.


No. 4 is constitutional rights of student-athletes. Lawsuits are being filed by students feeling their rights have been violated after being suspended for violating athletic department or team codes of conduct.

No. 3 is social media issues and authority to sanction athletes. Courts are still deciding whether schools have the authority to sanction students for inappropriate postings on social media websites.

No. 2 is liability for sports injuries and the duties of athletics personnel.

No. 1 is concussion management and return-to-play protocals.


Yes, there’s lots of people worried about lawsuits and deservingly so.