Please, no one panic.
Do your breathing exercises.
Just because college football can’t get their stuff together has no bearing on the state of high school sports in Kentucky.
While it appears — and rightfully so — that the NCAA has little leadership, such is not the case in this state.
You can have your opinions on Julian Tackett and the KHSAA, but they have done a pretty darn good job in figuring out a way to make sure high school fall sports get played.
The KHSAA sent out a tweet on Monday: “The KHSAA board meets on 8/20 as regularly scheduled. As always, the staff will be in regular daily communication with the Governors office, Public Health, KDE and member school districts as we navigate this fall and school year.”
The Mountain West and Mid-American conferences are the latest to cancel fall college football and, honestly, what makes you think soccer and other fall sports can happen?
Why just football?
There are 26 FBS programs not playing.
I cannot see why other sports will be able to play in the fall.
And when that happens collegiately, where is the starting point for sports to actually come back?
In addition, where was this fight months ago to allow spring sports the chance to compete?
I mean, if Iowa was able to have baseball and softball high school state tournaments during the summer ...
I understand that the Power 5 conferences are still looking at giving football a go, but there is far from a unanimous decision on that springboard to go forward.
So, if all fall sports on the collegiate level get nixed, who honestly thinks basketball and wrestling and spring sports will be able to compete?
The KHSAA, its Board of Control and the Kentucky Department of Education are keeping all options available with the stated goal of the KHSAA to play.
Tackett and the KHSAA crew really want high school sports to compete. After all, if things go south, it can be shut down like it was five months ago.
But to not start means there has to be a line in the sand at some point in time where a beginning is possible.
Kevin Wallace, the head football coach at Louisville St. Xavier tweeted this on Monday: “The 6 hours a week that our players spend with @StXTigersFB takes place in an environment that is more regulated than the other 162 hours they spend away from our campus. We’ve embraced the plan & look forward to making a positive difference with our players & community.”
The National Federation of State High School Associations tweeted on Monday: “High school sports season update - Monday, August 10. 37 states have modified or delayed their sports seasons. 13 will not play football this fall.”
The NFHS tweeted on Saturday: “With students now disengaged from activities for five months, the physical health concerns of the virus must be weighed against the psychological health concerns of being separated from school and activities.”
So, here we are, teachers want to teach, coaches want to coach and players want to play. Cheerleaders want to cheer and band members want to band. You can add in all the school clubs and it’s a bellowing from an incredibly large contingent of people that we have to somehow figure out a way to get back to a normal daily routine and be able to make adjustments on the fly.
“This is the time to continue to think outside the box and figure out how we can provide the most opportunities for our student-athletes,” Tackett said in a statement last week. “I have said since the spring that while 2021 will hopefully look more like 2019, 2020 will not look like anything we have ever seen or hope to see again.
“We will continue to work with leaders of our public and nonpublic schools and districts, our Department of Education, the Governor’s office, public health leaders, and local health departments to chart a course of action and do whatever we can to get our coaches and student-athletes back on the playing fields and courts.”
Notre Dame sent out a tweet on Monday: “The University, in concert with LabCorp, conducted nearly 12,000 pre-matriculation COVID-19 tests of students before the start of classes on campus today, with less than one-third of 1 percent testing positive:”
And then I read about a couple dozen responses and the far left and far right are hammering away at their respective points.
My head hurt after reading those.
Utah is scheduled to play 51 high school football games Friday night.
“It’s likely that the 2020-21 season will look different than any other, and we have to keep that in mind as we chart the best course for getting our student-athletes back to play,” Tackett said. “We will continue to push for the citizens of our state to come together and drive down our data points to where everyone is more comfortable going forward throughout the school year in partnership with our schools.
“It is very easy and shows visible support for interscholastic athletics by adhering to the three public health obligations — regular proper handwashing, always wearing a mask or face covering and social distancing as recommended. Hands, face and space, it really is that simple if we want middle and high school sports.
“Our schools are setting examples throughout the state with these important requirements as evidenced by their social media posts. It is critically important that our coaches and student-athletes be extremely visible leaders and model the conduct and actions that we need from everyone on these important public health obligations.”