COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Wayne Sells' lawsuit involving the renaming of Rock Bridge's football field was dismissed without prejudice on Wednesday.
Lawyers for Sells and CPS have argued since 2021 if Columbia Public Schools had a legal contract with Sells after he provided Rock Bridge High School a $100,000 donation. That donation was used for improvements to its athletic facilities, which led to the school naming the field "Wayne Sells Family Activity Field" in 2006.
According to court documents, the decision to dismiss was reached because the money was not drawn from Sells’ personal bank account. The check came from LSS Financial Services, LLC, a company Sells owns.
Sells' lawyer, Clark Jones of Jones, Powell and Stevens in Columbia, said he and Sells understands the court's decision, but plans to refile.
The Columbia Board Of Education unanimously approved to rename its athletics field in 2020 after Wayne Sells made criticisms on Facebook about professional athletes who were protesting during the national anthem before games by kneeling.
Sells had suggested renaming the field Veterans Memorial Field" or to have the $100,000 returned to him, but both options were declined by CPS.
CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark told ABC 17 News in an email on Thursday that the district is pleased with the ruling.
"Columbia Public Schools offers outstanding athletic and extracurricular opportunities as extensions of learning for its students," she wrote in the email . "The district looks forward to continuing to offer those opportunities and celebrating the success of our students in all their athletic and academic endeavors."