Judge rules Aliquippa will stay in Class 4A

A victory for the Aliquippa community and football program. A judge ruling Aliquippa football can remain in Class 4A. It’s been an ongoing battle with the PIAA but Thursday, Aliquippa received the news they were hoping for. Dr. Phillip K. Woods/Aliquippa Superintendent

“We were apt to take it to another level, which is to be putting the children in circumstance or situation,” said Aliquippa Superintendent Dr. Phillip K. Woods.

“That just didn’t seem right and there was no way that myself or the coach or the athletic director or the solicitor was just going to sit by and not advocate for that.”

It’s been a long and frustrating battle for the Quips fighting the PIAA, who were forcing them to play in Class 5A because of the organization’s competitive balance rule— a battle they say didn’t even have to get to this point.

“Because you couldn’t value our way to health and safety, they just, they denied it.,” said Superintendent Woods.

“And that’s what forced us to take it to civil court so that our voices will be heard and our arguments would be validated and with the judge upholding the injunction, that has taken place.”

One of the biggest factors cited in the judge’s 100-page ruling? The health and safety of the players.

“The one thing they stuck on was health and safety,” said Superintendent Woods. “And they recognize that the bylaws and the Constitution of the PIAA is revolved around health and safety. In that, he identified the different articles that discuss health and safety and the preamble starts out with health and safety, but yet the competition ruling doesn’t.”

All involved are grateful for the judge’s ruling, but they know this may be far from over.

“It was it was satisfying, rewarding to the degree that we weren’t off base,” said Superintendent Woods.

Now what’s next? The Quips get to remain in Class 4A for the next two years. But Superintendent Woods says the argument has to go further -- to state legislators to put measures in place for teams greatly affected by the PIAA’s competition formula.

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