A Minnesota high school football player’s family has hired a lawyer and started a GoFundMe page after the player was suspended four games for targeting during a game last week.
As the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, the family of East Ridge High School (Woodbury, Minn.) senior defensive lineman Marco Cavallaro said that it was hiring a lawyer to fight the suspension through the legal system because the Minnesota State High School League doesn’t allow for a way to appeal the ban.
“We are fighting this decision through the courts because this is the only way to do so, since the MSHSL refuses to legislate themselves or their officials,” wrote Amanda Cavallaro, the player’s mother, on the post on GoFundMe. “Everyone makes mistakes, officials included, and there is NO appeal system and there can be no overturning of a decision made by them, even if it is wrong as in my son’s case.”
The family started the GoFundMe page to assist with the legal costs. Thus far, the page has raised $425 of a $5,000 goal.
MSHSL executive director Erich Martens released a statement to the Pioneer Press and other outlets, saying, “Safety in the game of football is a priority at all levels and our high school games are officiated according to the rules of the National Federation of High Schools with a focus on the safety of all competitors. The Minnesota State High School League’s bylaw language clearly states ‘The decisions of contest officials are final’ and therefore there is no option for appeal.”
The controversy stems from a hit Cavallaro made on Centennial High School (Circle Pines, Minn.) quarterback Ricky Eason during an interception return during the final game of the regular season on Oct. 17.
There is video of the hit in question on Cavallaro’s Hudl page.
You can see him hit Eason with the blindside block. After the hit, Eason laid limp on the ground. Centennial coach Mike Diggins told the Pioneer Press that Eason was not injured on the play and that he or his team were not upset with the hit.
East Ridge won the game, 30-26.
On Friday night, East Ridge (6-3) defeated Forest Lake in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, 44-16. Cavallaro did not play in the game.