Troubling story as NCHSAA says 19 year-old with Down Syndrome at Hobbton High can’t practice or play football any more

Posted by Andy Durham on August 9, 2011 at 9:31 am under High School | 4 Comments to Read

The NCHSAA says the football playing days are over for Brett Bowden, the 19 year-old from Hobbton High School in Sampson County….Bowden has Down syndrome and he has been practicing with his team for the past two years and then suiting up for Hobbton High’s games on Friday night….

Now the NCHSAA says it is over…..Since Bowden is 19 years old, he is too old to play high school football in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association bylaws…..

Bowden’s football days are over, but his Sampson County following is rallying around his cause and because the NCHSAA says Brett is too old, his Hobbton High classmates and others in and around Sampson County are going wild and crazy in an effort to get the NCHSAA to make an exception, in Brett Bowden’s case….

You may say rules are rules, but in Brett situation, what harm would it do to let him keep practicing with his team and then suit up for the games on Friday nights?????

Agree or disagree? The rallying cry in Sampson County is, “Let Brett Play”……

CLICK HERE to read all and soon the rallying cry across the state of North Carolina might just become, “Let Brett Play”……


  • tough situation said,

    This is a tough sitation, and I am sure the NCHSAA would love to let him play, but the problem is that since so many people file suit anytime they don’t agree with a state rule, if they let this young man play, it will serve as a precedent for a lawyer to use when suing for another student who is too old and wants another year of eligibility.

  • Tom said,

    This is not a tough situation. Let the kid play. This is a situation where common sense needs to prevail. If any player in the future would point to this precedent as a reason for getting an extra year, that would be pathetic.

  • Andy said,

    Why not just let the kid practice and then suit up for the games and this lets him stay involved and he probably will never effect the outcome of a game, but he will still feel like he is involved and a part of the team…..If he suits up and stands on the sidelines for the games, he won’t be hurting anything and he can still love what he is doing…

  • JP said,

    Something needs to be done to alllow this young man to be a part of the team….Manager, Trainer, Water Boy.

    But it would be best served to let him put on a uniform and have him be on the sidelines during all the games like he has done in the past. Let him practice and let him dress out.