T.A. Cunningham seeks injunction to play at Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos High defense attorney TA Cunningham, one of the top football prospects in the country, filed a petition Tuesday demanding that the California Supreme Court block a decision by the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section to deny him a hardship waiver . The application was not processed by the court until Thursday afternoon and Cunningham is awaiting a hearing.

The rejection prevents Cunningham, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound junior, from playing for Los Alamitos this season after moving from Georgia.

The CIF said it denied hardship to Cunningham because he did not “meet the definition of a ‘homeless student’” as suggested in his hardship waiver application.

“Every week I’m 100 percent sure he’ll be vacated,” Los Alamitos coach Ray Fenton said on Sept. 8. “And he’s still sitting.”

Cunningham’s attorney is Michael Caspino, who is known for representing budding collegiate athletes with name, image and likeness contracts. The request for the injunction states that the Southern Section did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CIF chief executive Ron Nocetti told The Times: “We do not comment on legal matters.”

The request for the restraining order states that Cunningham moved to Orange County in June without his mother and father and has been sleeping on his teammates’ couches ever since. Georgia does not allow NIL agreements for high schools, but California does in certain circumstances. Caspino argues that Cunningham moved to California to earn zero income to support his family, but he hasn’t received the promised income after a dispute with marketing agency Levels Sports Group.

The request said its ZERO revenue opportunities collapsed after co-founder Chris Flores, a well-known Orange County youth coach, was charged with molesting a 15-year-old girl. The court filing includes screenshots of text messages allegedly exchanged by Cunningham’s father, Flores and Levels co-founder Justin Giangrande, promising Cunningham’s family apartments in California.

The court filings also say that Cunningham plans to seek a restraining order that would allow him to play the remainder of the season, beginning with Los Alamitos’ Sept. 15 game against Santa Margarita.

Cunningham was ranked No. 14 overall prospect in the country by Rivals and has 59 scholarship offers, including those from USC and UCLA. Los Alamitos quarterback Malachi Nelson and receiver Makai Lemon are USC commits.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/highschool/story/2022-09-15/terrance-ta-cunningham-seeks-injunction-los-alamitos T.A. Cunningham seeks injunction to play at Los Alamitos

Emma Bowman

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