In an expected decision, the Wauwatosa School District's lawsuit against the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association regarding conference realignment was dismissed by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Dennis Moroney on Tuesday.
The decision by Moroney was not surprising after he rejected the school district's request for a temporary injunction on Aug. 30.
"It is disappointing, but it is not unexpected," Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Phil Ertl said. "Knowing this was going to be with the same judge as the injunction hearing, we kind of assumed it was going to be this result. His decision was made well before we got there."
With the lawsuit dismissed, Wauwatosa West will indeed leave the Woodland Conference and join Wauwatosa East in the Greater Metro Conference for the 2017-18 school year.
"We'll continue to do everything we can to try to benefit our student-athletes to give them the opportunity to be successful," Ertl said. "There is an appeals process through the courts that our attorney feels pretty strong about.
"No company or organization has any action that they can take. Basically, the judge said the WIAA can do whatever they want. They can place people wherever they want. It doesn't matter if it is arbitrary and capricious."
The basis of the lawsuit filed by the Wauwatosa School District on July 13 was that process the WIAA used to come to its final decision on conference realignment, which lasted over two years, was flawed and too subjective.
Wauwatosa West and Wauwatosa East had hoped to join together in the Woodland, which would have happened under one of the plans considered. In the end, the current plan, which was presented by WIAA Associate Director Deb Hauser, was approved by a 7-4 vote by the WIAA Board of Control in April.
Ertl said the Wauwatosa School District will try to work with the WIAA to further understand how this situation can be remedied.
At a WIAA area meeting at Greenfield High School on Sept. 13, the Wauwatosa School District was joined by Brown Deer, Waukesha North, Waukesha South and West Allis Hale in requesting relief, the first step in potential further conference realignment.
The WIAA could take action down the road, or nothing could come from the requests.
"If history is any predictor, no, it is not going to happen," Ertl said. "Other times there was conference realignment, you look at the Wisconsin Valley and the Fox Valley Association where those schools are traveling halfway across the state to play football. I don't think there were a lot of people in favor of that realignment, and it still went through.
"I think there are some operations where the WIAA didn't look at how they were doing things. We're the only state where there's one person in charge of realignment, and there's no rationale given on how decisions are made."