CLEVELAND -- Ohio's high school football playoffs will kick off tonight as scheduled and with the original brackets as set by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
This afternoon Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle rescinded a temporary restraining order that he issued on November 1. The restraining order effectively shuffled the high school football playoff brackets.
As a result of McMonagle's decision Friday and the rescinding of his TRO, Mayfield and Edgewood are back in the playoffs. Edgewood plays Brookfield tonight in Division IV regional play. Mayfield will play St. Edward tomorrow in Division I.
However, for nearly a day, the playoff future for Edgewood and Mayfield was left in doubt by the original temporary restraining order.
Cleveland Heights had sought the order as a result of a forfeit earlier in the season by Cleveland's JFK. The district argued as a result of that forfeit, Cleveland Heights should have been in the playoffs. The judge agreed initially and issued the TRO against the OSHAA. The move effectively put Cleveland Heights into the playoffs as well as Beachwood in Division IV, which benefitted from the playoff shuffling. Mayfield and Edgewood lost their playoffs spots as a result and began legal action to win those spots back.
The OSHAA, however, always maintained it did not recognize the forfeit and did not take it into account in making playoff selections. It also said it was prepared to postpone the impacted games if the issue was not resolved by mid-afternoon Friday.
By 2:30 p.m., Judge McMonagle had ruled to rescind his temporary restraining order and the games were set to be played on schedule with Mayfield and Edgewood back in their original slots.
The OHSAA said the matter was settled as far as it was concerned. Cleveland Heights, a short time later announced the district had no plans to pursue further legal action.
Original blog posts:
2:37 p.m.: Mayfield is celebrating the court's decision. The team will play St. Edward tomorrow.
2:35 p.m.: Cleveland Heights Athletic Director, Kristin Hughes, says the district has no further plans to pursue the matter in court. She says Coach Jeff Rotsky is disappointed by the decision and will address the team this afternoon.
2:28 p.m. Judge McMonagle has rescinded his original temporary restraining order. The move puts Edgewood and Mayfield back into the playoffs as originally selected by the OHSAA. The OHSAA says the matter is settled as far as it is concerned. The games will be played as scheduled tonight and tomorrow.
12:30 p.m The OHSAA says it is prepared to postpone playoff games due to the court proceedings taking place. The Division IV, Region 13 playoff game is scheduled for tonight. (This is the game that will involve either Edgewood or Beachwood depending on the court outcome.) The OHSAA says if there is no decision by mid-afternoon if will postpone the game. The OHSAA says a postponement is possible as well in the Division I, Region 1 playoff game that will put either Mayfield or Cleveland Heights up against St. Edward depending on court outcomes.
11:30 a.m.: Mayfield Schools go to court asking that Judge McMonagle's TRO against the OHSAA be rescinded. Mayfield was knocked out as the 8th seed in Division I regional playoffs as a direct result of the ruling. Cleveland Heights was put into that spot as a result.
November 1: Ashtabula Edgewood (Division IV) one of the team's knocked out by Judge McMonagle's ruling won a temporary restraining order late Thursday night putting them back in the playoffs. Edgewood or Beachwood (the team put into the playoffs by the McMonagle's initial ruling) will be the 8th seed and play top-seed Brookfield depending on how the court's rule.
Background: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard McMonagle on November 1 issued a temporary restraining order against the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The ruling came as a result of an action filed by Cleveland Heights. The district claimed that as a result of a forfeit earlier in the season by JFK, Cleveland Heights should have been named to a playoff spot. The judge agreed. The OHSAA, however, has said it did not recognize the forfeit and did not take it into account in making playoff selections.