Several states in limbo about fall prep sports

The question of whether or not we will have high-school sports will get varying degrees of answers, depending on who you ask.

The now-age-old question is should our high-school athletes compete in the fall?

Only a select few will have collegiate scholarship opportunities or spots in various amateur drafts such as Major League Baseball or the National Basketball Association. That is if you are part of the few, the proud, the elite.

The MLB amateur draft was cut short, from 40 rounds to five.

Some state athletic associations are opting to play. Some, like Nebraska, have attempted to play. Reference The Shrine Bowl game, where the COVID-19 pandemic was conveniently ignored.

Like it or not, COVID-19 is a complex political issue.

There is no getting around that. Ask average people how it should be handled and you will get answers that vary as significantly as the political and sociological landscape we live in.

Sports isn’t the microcosm of society it used to be. Now, instead of being an escape from politics, it is a machine that becomes increasingly polarizing in our community with each passing day.

It’s becoming a significant player in the political and socioeconomic machine itself.

It’s unfortunate, because the polarity of various messages of causes can be so dangerous when you mix it all into a blender that seeps into what used to be entertainment.

This is extraordinarily dangerous, but also the way it is.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander once again said it best when he quoted French existentialist-philosopher-author Albert Camus, who wrote a 70-year-old book titled “The Plague,” where it stated, ‘They fancied themselves free, and no one will ever be free as long as there are pestilences.”

That was how he began his recent column when he talked about whether the Illinois High School Athletic Association will have sports.

The IHSAA opted to play spring ball.

Here is a news flash for you: Texas will play high-school football, but some will be delayed, according to a recent Associated Press article.

The University Interscholastic League released its guidelines for Texas public-high-school fall sports Tuesday, pushing back the football and volleyball seasons for most schools by one month, into late September. Football championships for those schools will be in January.

Texas, which has the highest population of participants in high-school sports in the country, also by that logic has the most revenue left to lose.

The article stated California announced it would delay fall high-school sports until spring, and Florida officials decided to press ahead with no changes to its July 27 start.

Florida’s mentality towards sport is no surprise, yet baffling considering the COVID-19 explosion in that state.

Because of the complexities of any governing body, it is easy to criticize. Still, our Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association deserves some kudos for implementing a “no-contact policy,” which bides significant time to see what will transpire.

HHSAA fall-sanctioned sports are tentatively scheduled for an Aug. 19 start, which will push the schedule back to September. Who knows what will transpire between then and now. My money is on everything involving COVID-19 continuing to change significantly between now and then.

Like it or not, it’s all political.

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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