Family wants answers after local high school athlete was abruptly removed from baseball team

CeFaan Kim Image
Thursday, February 22, 2024
School athlete removed from team due to pandemic-related circumstances
CeFaan Kim has the story.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A local student's dream of playing high school sports has been benched, but not because of bad grades. Instead, it's because New York State says he's used up his eligibility.

Despite how much fun baseball brings Ryan Kim, the young athlete was suddenly yanked off the diamond and told he was ineligible to play because he's considered a fifth-year senior.

Ryan did a freshman year at a New York City public school and transferred into Trevor Day School on the Upper East Side.

But because the pandemic forced him into remote learning, he had to repeat his freshman year when he transferred.

The problem is, though, no one told him about this until weeks before the start of the season.

"This is something I've devoted a lot of time to," he said. "I've trained a lot for the senior season."

Trevor Day School is on Ryan's side, and even sent several letters in his support.

But it's the New York State Association of Independent Schools, a committee that governs nearly all private schools in the state that deemed him ineligible.

"The school has been fantastic, said Jay Kim, Ryan's father. "They've gone over the top to really try to advocate for Ryan."

"We've tried to reach out to the committee. We've emailed, we've asked for a meeting. And the really tough thing is they're just unreceptive to any sort of engagement," he added.

In a statement the executive director of the committee said: "(It) cannot comment on the specific situations regarding our members or their students. In the event when decisions are made, the Athletic Executive Committee hears and acts upon appeals in a manner consistent with our guidelines and past practice."

Daniel Dugan, the family's attorney, disagrees with the committee.

"Many associations have deemed COVID-19 to be a reason for an extension," he said. "The NCAA has blanketed extended athlete's eligibility for one season."

School officials are set to meet with committee members Thursday and the Kim family are hopeful they will reinstate him.

If it doesn't, Ryan's parents say they're prepared to file a lawsuit.


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