The John Curtis Patriots are one of Louisiana’s most powerful football programs, capturing 25 state titles, the most recent one coming in 2013. Actually, at the moment that number is 24, with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) reclaiming the 2013 state crown because of the use of then-star offensive lineman Willie Allen.
The Patriots have decided they’d rather like that title back, and they’re willing to fight for it.
As reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate, John Curtis officials have filed suit against the LHSAA in a direct attempt to have the 2013 title reinstated on the grounds that they’re convinced they did nothing wrong.
The basis for the Patriots’ appeal is that while Allen lived with Curtis assistant coach Jerry Godfrey during his final three seasons at Curtis, that was neither illegal or even illicit; the team was open about where Allen was living, and was given the understanding that such an arrangement would be legal, as it had been in other sports in the past.
“They thought that Willie was living with Jerry Godfrey illegally, a fact that we never tried to hide or never thought was a violation of the rules in any way,” John Curtis football coach J.T. Curtis told the Advocate. Curtis the coach has insisted that the victories aren’t particularly important, but knowing that the team did things the right way was.
Added Godfrey: “It just felt like the right thing to do. He was doing whatever it took to get to school, and it shows his level of commitment.”
Now the Patriots are asking the LHSAA to show their level of commitment to fairness, and they’ll try to get it in a court.