A private school in Lynchburg says the playing field isn't fair.
Liberty Christian Academy, a private school filed a federal lawsuit against the Virginia High School League.
The VHSL oversees athletics for all public schools in the state.
Lawyers representing Liberty Christian Academy say the school is prohibited from fully competing against VHSL . Because of that, they say it puts them at an economic and competitive disadavntage.
"This case is about getting fundamental fairness for the athletes who attend private high schools in the state of Virginia," said Jeffrey Kessler.
Kessler is the New York City-based attorney for Liberty Christian Academy who filed the lawsuit.
LCA, a football powerhouse, alleges that because it can't play the best local competition, it can't make as much money.
"From the school standpoint, you don't get the best games, you don't get the most excited fans, the whole program is weakened economically, and every other way because of these restrictions," Kessler said.
LCA has tried to get into the public-school-only VHSL for years, but has been told no.
Kessler says the problem has gotten worse thanks to a new points system established in many VHSL conferences that determines playoff seeding.
"The biggest incentive is the competition. If we feel like it's going to benefit the program, whatever program that might be of all the sports, and we look at it that way," said Lord Botetourt Athletic Director Chuck Pound.
Pound says his conference allows public schools to get points for playing private schools.
"Different conferences adopt different formats. And I know there's a lot of different formats throughout the state," Pound said.
We're told in most conferences, public schools get no points for playing non-VHSL private schools.
That's where Jeffrey Kessler says the system is being unfair.
"If you can't have the most attractive games, if you can't have the most interesting rivalries, if you can't play at the highest level, then you can't get the same financial support for programs," he said.
Several public school athletic directors say private schools are not at a disadvantage because they have the ability to recruit and give scholarships to athletes.
Jeffrey Kessler says Liberty Christian Academy isn't looking for a competitive advantage, but a fair system, and says that LCA is willing to do what it needs to so it can compete in the VHSL.
The VHSL says it's still too early to comment, since the lawsuit was just filed. We'll update this story when and if it does respond.
Click here to read LCA's news release about the lawsuit.