It looks like there finally is an end to the Thomas Kithier saga.
Kithier, the Michigan State signee who was ruled ineligible to play this season by the Michigan High School Athletic Association for what the organization deemed was an athletically-motivated transfer from Macomb Dakota to Clarkston, has dropped a lawsuit filed in December against the MHSAA and Chippewa Valley Schools.
Kithier and his attorneys, Steve Fishman and Ven Johnson, filed the suit and sought a preliminary injunction that would have allowed him to play for Clarkston while the lawsuit played out.
The request for an injunction was denied Jan. 11, and Kithier said in a statement released on Thursday his family was dropping the suit.
“We filed the lawsuit in order to attempt for me to overturn the MHSAA’s unfortunate decision to rule me ineligible,” Kithier said in the statement. “After that failed and after the MHSAA denied the appeal, they said that they would never let me play this year. I sat down with my attorneys and my family and strongly considered all of my options. The lawsuit was likely to go on for years and it would serve as a substantial distraction to me, especially in my first two years of attending Michigan State University and playing on the basketball team. I have decided to dismiss the lawsuit and do my best to move on with my life. I would like to thank my attorneys, Ven Johnson and Steve Fishman, my parents, Jane and Karel, for all that they did for me, as well as basketball fans all over our country who have emailed me, called me and texted me, wishing me well. I greatly appreciate your love and support. I look forward to graduating with my high school class this year and then attending Michigan State University in the fall.”
After playing his first three years at Macomb Dakota, the 6-foot-9 Kithier enrolled at Clarkston’s schools last August, but Dakota never signed his transfer waiver that would have granted him eligibility to play in January.
The MHSAA agreed with Dakota’s claim it was an athletically-motivated transfer, citing Kithier’s primary motivation in moving to Clarkston was so he could play with Clarkston senior Foster Loyer, an AAU teammate this past summer and future MSU teammate.
An appeal by Clarkston of the MHSAA’s decision was denied, which led to the Kithiers seeking legal action.
The lawsuit stated that the main reason for Kithier’s transfer was academics and alleged that Kithier was “bullied” with text messages after deciding to transfer.