Mountain Vista athlete may be allowed to play
After news broke that Mountain Vista basketball player Bailey Roby, who has two prosthetic legs, may have seen his last game action on Jan. 24, CHSAA now appears ready to let the senior play, with certain conditions.
The story began making the rounds on social media late Wednesday. The hashtag #LetBaileyRobyHoop gained traction on Twitter, garnering hundreds of responses. A petition also sprang up on www.thepetitionsite.com called "Put Roby Back In!" on Wednesday evening. The petition gained more 1,700 signatures, with a goal of 2,000, by Thursday night.
Bailey Roby called the social media campaigns "really, really cool."
"It's all been really positive," the 6-foot-4-inch senior said.
Late the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 30, the Colorado High School Activities Association released a statement claiming the decision was made for Roby's safety as well as other players' and that it will work on a game-by-game basis to approve Roby's participation in future games.
"Bailey Roby will be permitted to play in games, so long as there is an agreement in place between both schools involved to ensure the situation on the floor remains safe for all participants," reads the statement. "A plan needs to be clearly communicated on when the participation will happen, how the players will remain safe, and ensure that interference and collisions are as remote a possibility as possible. Involved officials need to be notified ahead of time, as well."
When Mountain Vista approached CHSAA about participating in a varsity contest, the organization said that he was allowed to play if the schools made special accommodations, including maintaining "enough room for both the player and opponents to move safely" and notifying officials.
"CHSAA was told that the Littleton game might be the only opportunity that this athlete would have to participate under those restrictions, so we allowed it," the statement said.
"We've been in communication with the parents on this. We talked, we had a meeting," Mountain Vista athletic director Pat McCabe said in the release. "We had a meeting with Bailey. He understood what the situation was. In the end, the safety of Bailey is the No. 1 concern. His safety can't be a popularity issue."
Roby's father said concerns about the senior posing a safety risk was unfounded, although he said he is glad that it appears CHSAA will make some accommodations for his son.
"I think it's ridiculous," Scott Roby said. "I don't think Bailey is a hazard to anyone on the floor and certainly not to himself. He's been in hundreds of practices and he played junior varsity last year. If he falls down, he gets back up."
Scott Roby said that Bailey has never sustained any injuries and has not caused any harm to other players of which he is aware.
"He might not get in a game situation, but we're OK with that. We don't expect him to play, that's the coach's decision. It's just the part about being ineligible that we have an issue with," Scott Roby said.
Bailey Roby said the response from school officials and coaches has been mostly positive.
"They just want to see me on the team," he said.