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Friday, July 25, 2014
E.M. football player suing school district
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
Billy Andrle, pictured earlier this year with his Thorp Award, is suing the East Meadow School District after he alleges he was kicked off the team.

The family of Billy Andrle, a senior at East Meadow High School, is suing the East Meadow School District for, according to his attorney, “damaging his chance of scholarships and … professional sports thereafter” after he alleges that Andrle was kicked off of the varsity football team in September.

In January, Andrle became the second junior to ever win the Thorp Award as Nassau County’s most outstanding football player.

According to Thomas F. Liotti, Andrle’s Garden City-based attorney, Andrle broke a bone in his wrist during a football practice in August. He said Andrle, a running back and linebacker, was told by doctors he could return to action with a player’s cast, but that “the risk of injury would be very substantial.

“If he got injured again, that would most likely end his career in sports,” Liotti continued.

Andrle, 16, who also plays lacrosse, chose to forego the football season to allow his wrist to properly heal, said Liotti. But in late September, Liotti alleges that East Meadow head coach Vincent Mascia told Andrle “to clean out his locker.”

Louis DeAngelo, the superintendent of the East Meadow School District, said, on Sept. 23, Mascia was informed that Andrle had been medically cleared to play football, but that his parents indicated that they did not want him to play due to the risk of further injury. “The allegations that Billy was thrown off the team are false,” DeAngelo said. “In fact, if Billy and his parents change their minds, the district would certainly welcome him back to the playing field.”

Liotti said that a number of universities had expressed interest in recruiting Andrle, “and are interested still.”

Liotti said he filed a Notice of Claim against the school district and Mascia, which he explained is a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit, and that he intends to pursue the matter in Supreme Court.

Andrle, who totaled 1,307 regular season rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in eight regular-season games last year, was also a key member of the Jets’ 2011 Nassau Conference I championship team.

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