Football player files lawsuit against Michigan State, alleging financial aid mishandlings

EAST LANSING — A former Michigan State University football player is suing the university over a financial aid hold that he claims prevents him from transferring to play football at another school.
Christian Banks filed a lawsuit against the university Friday in U.S. District Court, alleging financial aid officials are refusing to follow federal guidelines by correcting mistakes he accuses them of making on his account.
The mistakes, he said, have placed a hold on his account, preventing him from getting transcripts that he said he needs to transfer.
In the suit, Banks is representing himself and requesting a temporary restraining order that, if approved, would force MSU to release his official transcripts.
Michigan State University Deputy Spokesman Dan Olsen said Saturday he couldn't comment on the lawsuit as the university hasn't received it yet.
Banks is a walk-on quarterback and entered the transfer portal in the spring. He told the State Journal Saturday the transcript hold prevents him from applying to other colleges. He said he has four seasons of athletic eligibility with the NCAA.
"I can't even apply to any other schools," he said. "I can't enroll in any other schools until I have my transcripts released."
He said coaches at other schools have reached out to him, but he can't accept any offers without the MSU documents. He's not currently enrolled for classes at Michigan State due to the current hold on his account.
Banks alleges in the lawsuit the university misclassified him as an out-of-state student despite him living at his mom's home in Michigan and that mistake led to problems with his financial aid.
Although he eventually was classified as an in-state student, he accuses the university of wrongly increasing his cost of attendance to $60,000 in March and placing a hold on his account the following month when he attempted to register for classes.
"My mother and I called MSU's financial aid to determine why the hold was placed on his account," he wrote in his lawsuit. "We spoke to (Assistant Financial Aid Director) Tonya Jamison and she informed us that financial aid canceled my mother's Parent Plus Loan and removed it from my account. In doing so, the debt burden was shifted from my mother to me without notice and without our consent."
Banks received several regenerated financial aid letters, one keeping the cost of attendance at $60,099 and two decreasing that to $31,106 in April and May. Meanwhile, his mother's loan has not been reinstated, no matter the mother and son's efforts to address the situation, and his transcripts are being held hostage, he said.
He told the State Journal the financial burden is heavy on his family as they cannot pay the remaining $30,000 he said resulted from the university removing his mother's loan.
He's hoping the courts make MSU release his transcripts since some schools would like to see his performance at a preseason camp next week.
"There is no amount of monetary compensation that can sufficiently compensate me for the loss of the opportunity to join my intended team and compete for a starting position at quarterback," he wrote in his legal complaint.

Players mentioned in this article

Aaron Banks

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