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Player with pink cleats returned to school team

By The Associated Press

This article was published November 11, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.

MENDENHALL, Miss. — Mendenhall High School football player Coy Sheppard will be back with his team Friday night after he and the local school board settled a dispute over his dismissal for wearing for wearing pink cleats to promote breast cancer awareness.

In return for getting back on the team, the 17-year-old senior agreed to drop his lawsuit against the school system.

The two sides reached the agreement Thursday.

Sheppard wore his pink cleats in an Oct. 8 game. He kicked extra points and his team won.

School officials have said the problem wasn’t the color of Sheppard’s shoes. They said he was booted off the team for ignoring the orders of his coach and assistant coaches to take off the shoes.

In a joint statement released after a meeting Thursday, the two parties said there had been a misunderstanding over Sheppard’s dismissal.

“The school district has taken steps to guarantee Coy that his school credit for playing is not at risk,” the statement read.

Football players receive physical education credit for playing on the team, and those credits count toward graduation.

Sheppard’s great-grandmother gave him the shoes and he wore them in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, said Sheppard’s attorney, Oliver Diaz Jr.

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