The Tommy Russell saga appears to be over.
Brian Harper, stepfather of the suspended Scottsdale Chaparral linebacker, said he will not file an injunction to allow Russell to play in Saturday’s 4A-I state championship game against Scottsdale Saguaro. Russell was suspended in Friday’s semifinal game against Tucson Canyon del Oro for allegedly kicking a player after a tackle, but Chaparral claims to have video evidence disputing the call.
Harper found a lawyer to file the injuction, but doing so would bring about a new host of concerns. If legal action was taken, the Arizona Interscholastic Association could have responded in several ways, including postponing or canceling the championship game.
If Russell played on Saturday and Chaparral won, but the AIA eventually succeeded in the court battle, the Firebirds also could be stripped of their title.
“(Russell) cares too much about the team to take that risk,” Harper said.
Assistant executive director Chuck Schmidt said the AIA would not have a definitive plan of action if Chaparral filed the injunction, as each decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
“We would have to look at all the facts and come to a determination,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he feels bad for Russell, but is getting conflicting versions of the story.
“Everyone is seeing it differently,” Schmidt said.