Rules say Michigan student with Down Syndrome is too old to play high school sports

Ishpeming, MI - A high school basketball player in Michigan has been told he can't play his favorite sport next year because he's too old.

CNN is reporting that Eric Dompierre will be a senior next fall. He turned 19 in January. Because of his Down Syndrome, he was held back in elementary school.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association reportedly has denied two of Eric's High School's petitions to allow him to play. His school has since filed a third petition.

Eric's cause is getting a lot of attention, according to CNN. A online petition has more than 80,000 signatures. A local T-shirt shop in Ishpeming is selling T-shirts that read "Let 'Em Play."

"What is the harm in letting him play?" Eric's Mother, Linda Dompierre said. "What is your fear about allowing this to happen? Because I don't understand it. "

Eric's father said the rule that stands in the way of his son's athletic future is 100 years old.

"We've come a long way in those 100 years in this country in the way that involve and included people with disabilities. And I think its time that the rule catches up with that," Dean Dompierre said.

Eric says he'll continue to practice to get ready for next season, even though he know he might not be able to play.