Suit to be dismissed, attorney says

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    A judge is ready to dismiss the case of a former TCU track athlete in his attempt to sue the university for a release to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin, the athlete’s attorney said.Tom Phillips, an attorney for former TCU athlete Jacob Hernandez, who filed against the university for a release to transfer in May, said an order of dismissal in the case has been passed on to the judge but said he is not sure if the judge has signed it yet.

    Phillips said he and J. Shelby Sharpe, another attorney for Hernandez, have exhausted all appeals on Hernandez’s behalf.

    “Time has run out for Jacob to seek any official legal remedies,” Phillips said.

    TCU would not grant Hernandez’s request because at the time of the request to transfer, UT was ranked in the top 15 of track programs nationally.

    TCU Transfer Release Policy states that a student-athlete can not transfer to any school in the top 15 in an NCAA poll or in the Mountain West Conference.

    The NCAA one-time transfer exception requires student-athletes to wait a year after transferring to another institution before competing. However, if a student-athlete’s previous institution agrees to the exception in writing, a student-athlete can participate the next academic year.

    TCU did not agree to the exception and Hernandez was given a hearing in front of the University Appeals Committee. Associate Provost for Academic Support Leo Munson chairs the committee.

    Marc Evans, director of athletics compliance for TCU, said he would not comment on the case.

    “We have been told that we are going to try this case in court and not in the paper, so we are going to refrain from commenting,” Evans said.

    Sharpe and Phillips’ past actions on Hernandez’s behalf include a motion for summary judgment, a request for a decision to be made without a full trial Jan. 27 and an amended motion for summary judgment heard Feb. 23.

    Phillips said their lawsuit was based on the belief that TCU had broken a contract with Hernandez.

    Phillips said their goal was to avoid losing a year of Hernandez’s eligibility so he could run track for UT during the 2005-2006 academic year. Next season, when the one year wait that is required by the one-time transfer exception expires, Hernandez will be able to compete for UT.

    Phillips said the amended motion for summary judgment was denied because the judge said the matter should be settled out of court.

    “The judge said it was a school decision, and the contract is not enforceable in court,” Phillips said.