Last week the IHSAA announced that teams players and coaches will be allowed to start meeting up for summer activities on July first.
Bobby Cox, the outgoing commissioner of the IHSAA who is retiring later this summer, says they chose that date because the Department of Education sees June 30th as the official end of an academic year. Cox says, “So if July 1stcomes and we have no setbacks and our local school boards are ready to open their school facilities then we should be ready to go.” Again quoting the commissioner, “Lets let these schools come back together at the discretion of our superintendents.”
Cox said the date could change if the state has to make adjustments according to Governor Holcomb’s five-stage plan.
“This is uncharted territory. We don’t have a playbook for this”, says Xox. “Obviously the thing that could change this is a spike in the death rate.”
Usually the IHSAA has a moratorium week during the first week of July, but cox said the association got together and agreed to waive that dead period for athletes this year, because of the pandemic. “These kids have been away from their coaches for 60 days now, and its going to be longer.” He said.
The IHSAA had to cancel the boys basketball postseason in march, keeping Marion from fighting for the school’s 9th state title,
After an incredible performance in the sectional. And then they had to scrap the entire spring sports season something that hasn’t happened in this state since the days of World War 2.
However, Cox is trying to remain positive about the idea of the fall sports season starting on time. “I’m cautiously optimistic” he said. “Lord knows that our communities need it. From an emotional and a social standpoint, and from a competitive standpoint for our student-athletes.”
Cox added that in order for there to be a football season, we must have a safe summer. ‘That means we gotta keep doing what we’ve been told to do,” he said. “Keep flattening that curve.”
Schools across the state are trying to figure out if or when students will be allowed to return to school later this year, but Cox adds then there’s another big issue…..BUDGETS.
He says with many Hoosiers losing their jobs plus not going out and buying as many things, there aren’t as many tax dollars being collected. And that has a direct impact on the state legislature and thus education funding.
Cox calls the pandemic a big issue with far reaching tentacles that will have an effect on schools across the state of indiana, this year and maybe for years to come.