Los Alamitos football will have one of the best defenders in the country for Friday’s game against Newport Harbor.
After much back-and-forth, which included a request for a restraining order, junior TA Cunningham was granted a hardship waiver by the CIF Southern Section and cleared to play after moving from Georgia.
According to a September 13 complaint filed by Cunningham’s attorney, Mike Caspino, the Southern Section originally blocked Cunningham’s admission on the grounds that he did not meet the definition of a homeless student. After dropping that argument, the Southern Section launched an investigation to determine if what the organization calls “undue influence” was used to move Cunningham to Los Alamitos.
“We have thoroughly reviewed the elements in this case and all relevant CIF statutes that apply, as we do with all transfer applications filed with our office,” the Southern Section said in a statement sent to The Times became. “We have followed all of our required processes and timelines in conducting this review.”
“Subsequently, and after receiving new information clarifying issues related to the initial rejection, we determined the student was eligible to play at Los Alamitos High School beginning September 26, 2022.”
Cunningham is a five-star prospect and the No. 1 defender in the Class of 2024, according to 247 Sports.
Los Alamitos manager Ray Fenton confirmed Cunningham would play on Friday. Caspino broke the news to defense attorney Monday morning and said he could tell Cunningham was crying, the attorney said.
“He loved it,” Caspino said. “He kept thanking God.”
The September 13 complaint, filed by Capsino to restore Cunningham’s eligibility, argued that the influence that brought him to Los Alamitos was not by anyone involved in the program, but rather by agency Levels Sports Group, which promised name, likeness and likeness contracts for Cunningham and his family home in California.
Caspino said he had “complete confidence” that Cunningham would be acquitted at the end of the investigation.
Columnist Eric Sondheimer contributed to this report.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/highschool/story/2022-09-26/ta-cunningham-cleared-by-cif-eligible-to-play T.A. Cunningham is cleared by CIF to play for Los Alamitos