It is time for the LHSAA to make a decision on fall
On Wednesday, one day after the Governor confirmed the state would remain in Phase II of the re-opening plan, the LHSAA released another open letter re-iterating the organization’s commitment to keeping fall sports alive.
In the letter Bonine stated “We will adhere to all standards set forth in recently passed legislature in ACT 9 and those adopted by the Board of Elementary Secondary Education for the safe opening of schools. The LHSAA is committed to conducting fall sports to the direct benefit of your student athletes however, we will not put schools in conflict or in harm’s way. We have no intention of cancelling fall sports unless schools are closed or the pandemic dictates that it is not safe to play.”
Lets look at that last statement again. “We have no intention of cancelling fall sports UNLESS schools are closed or the PANDEMIC DICTATES that it is not safe to play.”
For those that do not speak political-ease, basically Bonine is passing the buck on to Governor John Bel Edwards.
As we all know, the LHSAA came out with a plan to get fall sports into full mode. That plan does not allow for contact sports between other schools until the state moves out of Phase III.
So, the statement “Unless the pandemic dictates” means that until we, as a state, move forward, fall sports that produce contact are dead in the water.
In this humble sports writer’s opinion, I do not believe that the Governor will move us out of Phase III in time for any contact sport to start on time.
Think about it.
With the track record of this Governor, there is no telling when the move out of Phase III will happen. Remember, we have been in Phase II for a month and a half. Do you really think Edwards will keep us in Phase III for only two weeks?
Even if the Governor decides to move the state into Phase III on August 7th, the only contact that a football squad will be able to have is inter-squad contact.
Following the Governor’s time line, we will be in Phase III until the end of September. So, what would that mean for the season itself?
Well, it means that there definitely would not be a fall football scrimmage, and you could rule out a jamboree. It also means the first four regular season football games will not happen.
With that in mind, the question becomes, how long will the LHSAA hold off on making a solid, written in stone decision about fall sports, particularly football?
Listen, I am not ignorant. I realize that there are a ton of moving parts dictating what happens a month from now. Hell, even school boards across the state are backtracking on their start dates.
I most definitely understand we are living in a very fluid situation. I am in no way shape or form criticizing the LHSAA’s handling of the pandemic up to this point and all of the questions it brings.
But, I really believe it is time for the organization to decide on a plan moving forward. It is time to quit side stepping the issue and get a plan in place, whether that plan is to push back the start dates on all sports, switch fall and spring sport seasons, or (God forbid) cut football season down.
Having a plan would finally give coaches, players and fans some type relief and would allow teams to move forward accordingly.
It would show leadership and strength. That would go a long way, especially after the controversy surrounding the split playoff system.
Because a plan would be in place, if there should be a monkey wrench thrown into the mix (like the Governor holding us hostage for another two months), the public would be that much more forgiving, considering the circumstances we find ourselves in these days.
Just give us something more than platitudes and assurances of the commitment to have fall sports. I truly believe that the LHSAA is committed to making fall sports happen. I think they want to do what is right for the players and their safety.
But, holding off is not doing any good.
Just my opinion!!!