Getting to the Heart of It All: An Analysis of Due Process in Interscholastic Athletics
Based on authority of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, a person is entitled to procedural due process protections by the state prior to the deprivation of any life, liberty, or property interest to ensure a just outcome. While many people assert interscholastic athletics are an important part of a student’s overall education, courts have been reluctant to accept this argument. The purpose of this article is to examine how past legal precedent applies to the current structure and purpose of interscholastic sport. To achieve this, a single state athletic association (i.e., the Ohio High School Athletic Association) was examined as well as the state’s accompanying school districts. Mission statements, structure, and modes of operation were examined in-depth through surveying high schools and performing content analysis of state bylaws. Results revealed the use of pay-to-play, affording student-athletes academic credit for participation, and current mission statements and bylaws may be increasing the liability of school districts.