Family Seeks Answers After Local High School Athlete Gets Benched from Baseball Team

Family Seeks Answers After Local High School Athlete Gets Benched from Baseball Team

In a surprising twist of events, local high school baseball player Ryan Kim has been abruptly removed from the field due to an eligibility dispute. Unlike typical cases involving poor academic performance, Ryan’s predicament revolves around his classification as a fifth-year senior, as determined by the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the committee overseeing private schools in the state.

This eligibility issue arises from Ryan’s transfer to Trevor Day School on the Upper East Side after completing his freshman year at a New York City public school.

Adding complexity to the situation is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools shifted to remote learning, Ryan found himself having to repeat his freshman year upon transferring to Trevor Day School. Shockingly, this crucial piece of information was not communicated to him until just weeks before the start of the baseball season, leaving him blindsided and deeply disappointed.

In the face of this eligibility controversy, Trevor Day School has rallied behind Ryan, sending multiple letters advocating for his right to play. Despite their efforts, the New York State Association of Independent Schools remains firm in deeming Ryan ineligible, creating a frustrating and challenging situation for the Kim family.

Expressing deep frustration, Ryan’s father, Jay Kim, highlights the committee’s lack of responsiveness. Despite the school’s proactive attempts to engage with the committee on Ryan’s behalf, they have faced resistance, with emails and meeting requests going unanswered. The Kim family’s attempts to open a dialogue have hit a roadblock, intensifying their frustration.

The executive director of the New York State Association of Independent Schools’ committee offered a vague response, stating, “(It) cannot comment on the specific situations regarding our members or their students.

In the event when decisions are made, the Athletic Executive Committee hears and acts upon appeals in a manner consistent with our guidelines and past practice.” This lack of transparency and apparent inflexibility adds to the Kim family’s discontent.

From a legal perspective, the family’s attorney, Daniel Dugan, challenges the committee’s decision by pointing out that many associations, including the NCAA, have recognized COVID-19 as a valid reason for extending athletes’ eligibility.

Family Seeks Answers After Local High School Athlete Gets Benched from Baseball Team

Dugan argues that given the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the pandemic, a more flexible approach should be adopted, allowing Ryan to fulfill his dream of a senior season on the baseball field.

Despite the challenges, there is a glimmer of hope. School officials are scheduled to meet with committee members on Thursday, providing an opportunity for resolution. The Kim family remains optimistic that these discussions will lead to a reinstatement for Ryan, allowing him to participate in the senior season he has worked tirelessly for.

As the Kim family fights for justice and fairness in high school athletics, broader questions arise about how institutions should handle eligibility concerns, particularly in the aftermath of disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The outcome of this case could set a precedent for future situations where students find themselves caught in the crossfire of unforeseen circumstances impacting their eligibility and dreams on the sports field.

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The community now awaits the decision of the committee and hopes for a resolution that prioritizes the well-being and aspirations of young athletes like Ryan Kim.

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