ORCHARD PARK, NY - New York State Education Commissioner Maryellen Elia says Jacob Kohler, a teenager with autism who was seeking a fifth year of eligibility to play football for Orchard Park High School, can play for now.
A spokesperson for Elia issued the following statement late Thursday afternoon:
“Pursuant to Education Law section 310 and 8 NYCRR section 276.1, the stay requested by petitioner in the above-captioned proceeding is hereby granted. Accordingly, respondents are directed to permit Jacob Kohler to participate as a member of the Orchard Park Central School District’s football team, pending an ultimate determination of the appeal herein.”
Despite being told he could play this year, the Orchard Park Central High School Athletic Director told Kohler in late June that he lost his eligibility because he's a fifth year senior.
Orchard Park's first game is Friday night.