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TMJ4 NewsA Milwaukee County judge has ruled in favor of St. Thomas More’s boys basketball team after they filed an injunction before Wednesday night’s WIAA playoff basketball game at Whitefish Bay High School.

WIAA Statement on St. Thomas More Decision

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The WIAA has been informed by the court that the temporary restraining order request by St. Thomas More to restore participation in the 2022 boys basketball Tournament Series has been granted and has deemed all St. Thomas More players eligible for this game.

The WIAA staff is working with all teams involved to adjust the schedule accordingly per the judge’s ruling.

As difficult as this situation is for everyone with inherent interest in the outcome, the WIAA has the responsibility to uphold the integrity of the rules of education-based athletics as established by the member schools. 

Background on the game –

A suspension was handed down by the WIAA after an altercation broke out between St. Thomas More High School and Fuller Collegiate Academy toward the end of their Regional tournament game last Friday night. More was leading at the time by 30 points with 44 seconds left in the game.

Players leaving the sidelines and heading on to the court during a fight results in an automatic suspension including all of More’s players . Thomas More said officials acted procedurally wrong. A player, who was home ill, was also suspended. School officials questioned the referees report to the WIAA.

St. Thomas More appealed the WIAA decisions that led to the forfeit

The WIAA said appeals cannot be filed against decisions made by game officials. Thomas More officials appealed the decision in court.

The WIAA said in its legal brief for the appeal case, “Courts are no place for reviewing the game-time calls of sports officials”

Wednesday (3-9-22) Milwaukee County Judge Hannah Dugan ruled in favor with Thomas Mor’s request and granted a temporary restraining order to stop the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) from moving forward with the impacted bracket.

Brown Deer was scheduled to play Dominican in a sectional playoff game last night (Wednesday).

The WIAA then rescheduled the game with Brown Deer that Thomas More had originally forfeited. Judge Dugan ordered the rest of the games, that had been impacted by that match-up, to be put on hold – including the game that was supposed to be played Wednesday night – Brown Deer versus Dominican. The judge’s ruling came just two hours before the tip off of that game.

Tonight Brown Deer will play St. Thomas More at 7pm.

In a Fox6 story Barry Mano of the National Association of Sports Officials defended the referees actions –

“It was so overwhelming the number of people who got involved, and kept coming, I even think you had a couple mothers out there trying to get their kids out of the way – and all of this is going on, and you’re one of three people standing there. And things are not good. What would we expect this crew to do? Try to sort out who did what to whom? I mean, really?”

Nationwide in the last several weeks fights have broken out during high school boys basketball games and have become quite common, including state associations and referees rulings being questioned on suspensions.