The case of Zion Harmon’s basketball eligibility at Marshall County High School has gone to court.
Harmon’s family on Wednesday filed a civil complaint against the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, asking the Marshall Circuit Court to grant an injunction that would immediately allow Harmon to play basketball at Marshall County.
The complaint was first reported by The Paducah Sun.
The complaint contends that the KHSAA violated due process in ruling Harmon ineligible and that the association’s Bylaw 6 concerning transfers “lends itself to erroneous, arbitrary and capricious interpretation by the KHSAA to the detriment of others, including the plaintiff.”
Harmon is a 5-foot-10 point guard who is ranked among the nation’s top players in the Class of 2021. Marshall County is his fourth school in as many seasons. Harmon, who grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, played at Antioch (Tennessee) Lighthouse Christian as a seventh-grader, won a state title at Bowling Green as an eighth-grader and scored 32.7 points per game at Adair County last season as a freshman on his way to first-team Courier Journal All-State honors.
Upon transferring to Marshall County over the summer, the KHSAA ruled Harmon ineligible Oct. 16. An appeal to the KHSAA was denied Nov. 15.
The KHSAA’s Bylaw 6 states all varsity athletes must sit out one year after transferring. The bylaw provides plenty of exceptions, the most common being “a bona fide change of residence” in which the athlete moves or a divorce by the athlete’s parents that leads to a change of residence.
Bylaw 6 also states that the KHSAA may still require an athlete to sit out a year if “the change in schools is motivated in whole or part by a desire to participate in athletics at the new school.”
The Harmons’ complaint contends that KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett determined the family had made “a bona fide change in residence” but that the transfer to Marshall County was motivated “in whole or in part” by athletics.