Suing over sanctions against Bellevue High School's powerhouse football program: parents and Wolverine Football Club boosters are asking a judge to overturn the penalties they feel are unfair and hurting their kids.
The sanctions include a two-year playoff ban and four years of athletic probation, but the Bellevue School District agreed to all of it back on August 9th. With that, it appeared the legal fight over the football program was over.
Then several parents and boosters filed a lawsuit on Monday.
"We're fighting to restore justice for our Bellevue High School football program," plaintiff Tami Hansen said in a statement.
Hansen is the mother of a current Bellevue High School football player, and says her connection with the program spans generations.
"BHS football, and worst of all, our kids, have been unfairly targeted and penalized for past success, and we're filing this suit as the only recourse to be heard," she said.
The 14 page lawsuit comes just two weeks after the Bellevue School District announced it would not appeal the most recent penalties handed down. An independent investigation found illegal recruiting and other widespread violations within the program.
According to court documents, the parents behind the lawsuit feel the investigation was flawed and the punishments too harsh.
Specifically, they say they're upset over a ban on non-conference play that could result in just a five game season for the team. The parents are also upset over a ban of booster club contributions to the team.
The lawsuit states that the penalties "have harmed and will continue to harm the players" unless the sanctions are lifted. The lawsuit also calls the sanctions "arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the facts and the governing Washington Law".
In a statement, the president of the Bellevue Wolverine Football Club had this to say in regards to the lawsuit.
"The sole purpose of this lawsuit is to achieve due process, to present the facts and to defend the program," said John Connors. "Throughout the flawed investigation and unfair sanctions and appeal process, we have had no opportunity to officially tell our side of the story. We are turning to the justice system as our only recourse."
None of the parents or boosters were willing to speak to KING 5 on camera on Monday.
The parties being sued include the Bellevue School District and the WIAA. The lawsuit does not seek any financial damages, only the removal of the sanctions.