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Gov. signs arbitration law, refugee could play

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Posted: Jun 6, 2014 9:43 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Jun 6, 2014 9:43 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: BATON ROUGE, Clement Mubungwira, denied his senior year of sports, Governor Jindal, LHSAA, Episcopal High, too old to play, Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - A young man denied his senior year of sports eligibility is getting another chance after Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law Friday.

The LHSAA refused to allow Clement Mubungwira to play sports at Episcopal High next year because of his age. Clement will be 19-years-old by the September 1st deadline. LHSAA rules say that's too old to play.

But, because of the teen's extraordinary story, lawmakers are changing LHSAA's guidelines. They decided, since the organization gets state money, it must seek the opinion of an arbitrator when ruling on certain cases, ones like Clement's.

Clement sought asylum in the US when he was 12. His family had to run from the war-torn country of the Congo. He didn't know English and had to learn everything, finally catching-up to other students just a year behind his age.

"I actually get another shot at my dream. It's just so unbelievable," Clement said. "I thought I was done. I thought that was it. Now, I'm here now."

The young man will likely get a chance to fight the decision that has benched him before the 2014 football season.

The LHSAA did not get back to WBRZ News 2 for a comment by deadline.

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