BRICK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s high school sports governing body has unexpectedly granted an autistic teenager a fifth year of eligibility, just weeks after it won a key court ruling regarding a lawsuit brought by the teen’s parents.
The decision by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletics Association meant 19-year-old Anthony Starego was able to play — exclusively as a kicker — in Brick High School’s 47-21 win over Toms River South on Friday night.
A judge had recently ruled that Starego’s family failed to show the NJSIAA had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying the player was given access and opportunity.
The NJSIAA had denied him eligibility due to his age and because he’ played four years. Agency officials say the judge’s ruling gave them time to re-examine Starego’s “unique” situation.
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