Judge gives East St. Louis reprieve

Updated: October 28, 2010, 10:50 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

East St. Louis is back in the state football playoffs -- for now.

The St. Clair County's 20th Judicial Court granted East St. Louis a temporary restraining order against the Illinois High School Association on Thursday. The IHSA ruled on Tuesday that the Flyers must forfeit all of their 2009 wins, the majority of their 2010 wins and be removed from this year's playoffs after it was discovered they had used two ineligible players.

The court's ruling allows East St. Louis (9-0) back into the Class 7A playoff field.

East St. Louis, which is ranked No. 36 nationally by ESPN's RISE, will return to being a No. 1 seed in the Class 7A playoffs and will host Belleville West on Friday.

East St. Louis went to the judicial court Thursday afternoon after the IHSA had denied an appeal earlier in the day.

Executive director Marty Hickman said the IHSA plans on taking further action.

"We are disappointed with the judge's ruling," Hickman said in a statement. "However, the judge indicated that if we provided East St. Louis Senior High School with additional due process, we can make a second ruling on this issue. Our intention is to provide that opportunity to East St. Louis Senior High School as soon as possible and issue another ruling at the appropriate juncture.

"No decision has been made in regard to appealing judge [Richard] Aguirre's ruling from today."

The IHSA discovered two East St. Louis players were violating the association's residency by-laws. One player was ruled ineligible on Oct. 14 and a second on Oct 22.

O'Fallon was given East St. Louis' No. 1 seed when the school was ruled ineligible and was going to have a bye in the opening round.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at preps@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.