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Agreement could let Sickles student play school football

TAMPA — A Sickles High School senior who transferred from Jesuit High can play football this year, if the Hillsborough County School Board approves.

It was not clear Tuesday just how soon Justin Fragnito could take to the field as the season heads into playoffs.

Fragnito, 18, sued the district Nov. 1, challenging a policy that requires transfer students to sit out a year of high school athletics unless they meet strict criteria.

Pete Hobson, a lawyer for Fragnito and a soccer player in Pasco County in a similar situation, contends the policy is contrary to a state law that says students may play for the first school they attend in a given school year.

The district didn't denounce its policy, he said. Officials agreed that if he drops his suit, they will withdraw the ruling. School district attorney Tom Gonzalez said the board, which next meets Tuesday, would have to approve any deal. Hobson said he also needs to check with the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Sickles, 9-1, hosts Plant City on Friday. If it wins, it will play East Bay or Gaither on Nov. 22.

The School Board, meanwhile, decided Tuesday to schedule a workshop on athletic eligibility.

Agreement could let Sickles student play school football 11/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:19pm]
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