Temporary restraining order granted by court
A temporary restraining order has been granted to Andrew Robison of Hahnville High School, which makes him immediately eligible to play football and opens up the possibility the Tigers quarterback could make his HHS debut in Boutte for tomorrow night’s rivalry matchup between Destrehan and Hahnville.
The order was filed in the 24th Judicial District Court of St. Charles Parish and it means that legally, Robison is eligible to play at this time through the end date of the TRO. The temporary order expires at 10 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 26). On that day, a hearing on a preliminary injunction will be held that could potentially extend his window of eligibility further.
St. Charles Parish Public Schools spokeswoman Stevie Crovetto nor Hahnville head football coach Nick Saltaformaggio could confirm whether that means Robison will indeed take the field Friday, however. On Thursday afternoon, Crovetto said the school district had just received and are in the preliminary stages of reviewing the court documents and are awaiting legal guidance on the matter.
Nonetheless, the signed court order is an important step for Robison in his bid to play his senior season.
“While this process is far from over, Andrew is excited he has the opportunity to play football, and to prove that he has at all times complied with LHSAA rules,” said David Moyer, the Robisons’ legal council, on behalf of the family.
“We are thrilled the Court granted our Temporary Restraining Order, immediately reinstating Andrew’s eligibility to play high school football for Hahnville High School.Andrew is looking forward to fully, fairly and completely arguing this matter before the Court, and finally having a full, fair and impartial hearing with all of the facts, and not the facts selectively disclosed and relied on by the LHSAA.”
In late August, Robison was declared ineligible for the entirety of his senior year by the LHSAA as result of their investigation into recruiting allegations by Robison’s former school, Vandebilt Catholic, following his transfer to Hahnville High School.
He is considered one of the state’s top passers, posting nearly 3,000 yards and throwing 30 touchdown passes as a junior at Vandebilt Catholic.
Moyer confirmed the family filed for the temporary restraining order (TRO), as well as a preliminary injunction, permanent injunction and petition for damages against the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, Vandebilt Catholic High School, Vandebilt Catholic head football coach Jeremy Atwell and Hahnville High School in the 24th Judicial District Court for St. Charles Parish.
The order specifies there is no grievance against Hahnville High School but that Hahnville must follow the court order of restraint against ineligibility, thus in theory protecting the school from LHSAA punishment for doing so.
The level of protection the school would garner from the order could be a key sticking point – were Robison permitted by the school to play for the team without tight protection from LHSAA sanctions, it would have the potential to set the football program significantly back. In an interview conducted by Jim Derry streamed on NOLA.com last week, Saltaformaggio said in regards to the prospect of the school district taking legal action, “What legal action can we take? If we get a court order and injunction to play him, and we play him, the LHSAA can come back and say, you’re forfeiting all those games, we’re extending your fine, we’re gonna extend Saltaformaggio’s suspension and oh by the way, Hahnville can’t go to the playoffs for the next three years.”
Moyer said Thursday that the order will protect Hahnville against LHSAA sanctions.
A recent example of a TRO granting an athlete the chance to compete immediately occured in the case of Ezekiel Elliott of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys in 2017. Elliott was granted a TRO on two separate occasions that postponed his serving of a six-game suspension until legal proceedings concerning the case were finished. Elliott was able to play in Dallas’ first eight games before ultimately serving the suspension.