By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
A day after N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced his plans for re-opening North Carolina public schools, the NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Association) announced it is delaying all fall sports until at least Sept. 1.
“For now, we believe these steps provide hope for our student-athletes, and the possibility for playing fall sports,” Que Tucker, NCHSAA commissioner, said in a statement on Wednesday, July 15. “We know that many decisions are being made relative to the re-opening plan your school will follow.”
In announcing his school plans during a press conference on Tuesday, July 14, Gov. Cooper noted, “The most important opening is that of our classroom doors. Our schools provide more than academics: they are vital to our children’s health, safety, and emotional development. This is a difficult time for families with hard choices on every side. I am committed to working together to ensure our students and educators are as safe as possible…”
Gov. Cooper announced he was approving “Plan B” which is a hybrid environment with some in-person instruction and some distance learning. But, he also noted that individual school systems have the ability to go for Option C which is all distance learning.
Tucker continued in her statement, “After each LEA (local education authority) has had an opportunity to formalize and finalize those re-opening plans, the NCHSAA staff will survey the membership to determine how sports should and/or can fit into the various models that will exist across the state. Please understand this delayed start is not ‘in cement’ and can be delayed even further if we do not have improved data from DHHS (N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services), or some other reason exists for delaying further into September or beyond.”
She is staying positive though, “We acknowledge that playing certain sports are more problematic at any time without a vaccine; however, we remain in consultation with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) members, and they believe we can and should offer a sports program, with all necessary modifications, delays, etc.”
On Tuesday, Tucker said in a statement immediately following Gov. Cooper’s address, “We know everyone is interested in start dates and protocols. The NCHSAA will provide further updates when they become available after Board discussion and action.”