Towson University plans to appeal a U.S. District judge's decision that would allow Gavin Class to rejoin the Tigers football team this fall.
Class, 22, had filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against the school in May after it prohibited him from practicing outdoors with the squad because of health concerns.
Class suffered a near-fatal heat stroke in August 2013 during a training session, but worked his way back into shape. On Friday, Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered Towson to reinstate Class, a junior lineman from St. Paul's. The university issued a statement Monday saying it will challenge the ruling.
"After thoroughly reviewing the judge's decision and conferring with our colleagues in the Maryland Attorney General's office, we have decided to appeal the ruling," the statement read. "We expect to file a formal appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. As an institution, our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students. This decision to appeal is consistent with that core value."
In his ruling, Judge Bennett said that Class had recovered from the heat stroke and related setbacks, including a liver transplant, and that the accomodations Class was asking for during practice were reasonable.
"It will be up to the Fourth Circuit Court [in Richmond, Va.] to decide," said Class' attorney, Andrew Dansicker. "We're confident that Judge Bennett got it right and that the court will affirm his position."