(7-11-12) Earlier this week New Mexico announced that they would move football to the spring due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Although the announcement impacted a state association, the talk coming out of Texas about canceling the fall football season rattled the world of high school football. Texas well known for its ‘fanatical love’ of the high school game might be the straw that broke the camel’s back for other state associations.
The move (either way) will have a huge financial impact for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) who can pack them in during the state playoffs.
The real possibility of the switch happened when Dallas Schools Superintendent talked in a MSNBC interview –
Hinojosa went on to say –
“That’s a true contact sport, I don’t see how we can pull that off. There’s been some discussion of moving it to the Spring, but we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t, I seriously doubt that we can pull that off.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott pointed to a possible change in football-
The Illinois High School Association did a 180 after less then a week of implementing a reopening plan. Indicating that contact sports are in the ‘red zone’ for the fall.
IHSA Statement this week-
Due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 among high school teams around the state, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are jointly collaborating to modify the IHSA’s Phase 4 Return To Play Guidelines,” the IHSA said in a statement.
“I’m also calling on the Michigan High School Athletic Association to consider postponing fall sports that have the impossibility of social distancing as a part of them, considering moving those to the spring and running some of the more individualized sports like track and field or tennis or golf to the fall. I anticipate a decision from them somewhere around July 20 to 25, is what they’ve indicated.”
Another large football state, Ohio, that is in the middle of a ‘contentious’ leadership change. The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) recently fired Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass, who was very popular with ADs and coaches. To add to that the OHSAA Board will replace both their President and Vice-President on August 1st. Tough choices will have to be made late in the process.
Add the uncertainty of the pandemic and anything is possible.
The above tweet started a fire storm off from a variety of followers on the possibility of switching to spring football.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has expressed concern about younger people catching the virus, the OHSAA to this point have backed and supported the Governor’s suggestions during the pandemic. This could spell a change in thinking about the upcoming football season.
Texas will be the key for other states, keep an eye on the Lone Star state in the upcoming days…time is running out on making a decision.
2020 will be a year to remember in high school sports…one that many hope will never happen again. The final decision for any state about making a change to spring football…the financial impact on associations and school’s athletic departments. The biggest gamble will be if the pandemic is done by the spring, if not…thatis another story.