coronavirus

UIL Could Make Decision This Week On Fate of Fall Sports

No UIL sanctioned games have taken place since mid-March

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As the coronavirus pandemic rages on in Texas, a major decision on the fate of fall sports for high school students could happen this week.

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) is expected to announce its recommendations for high school games this week, according to our content partners at the Dallas Morning News.

The newspaper reports UIL athletic director Susan Elza said there could be an announcement this week on whether or not there will be a fall season for sports and that the announcement could come as early as Monday but "there is no guarantee.”

These conversations between UIL leaders have been happening throughout the summer, with no concrete plan set yet.

No UIL sanctioned games have taken place since mid-March.

However, the clock is ticking for a decision and least some guidance for schools.

At its last meeting, the UIL looked at 14 proposals on the issue but only acted on two.

And two weeks ago, Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa made national headlines when he told MSNBC that he “seriously doubts” there will be high school football this fall.

“That’s a true contact sport, I don’t see how we can pull that off," he said. "There’s been some discussion of moving it to the spring, but we’ll have to wait and see. I seriously doubt that we can pull that off.”

The UIL pushed back and issued a statement to NBC News saying, "At this time, UIL plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar."

"As the circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic are ever-changing, we do not have a specific timetable to release further information. UIL continues to monitor the situation and any updates will be dependent upon guidance from local and state authorities and released when more information is available,” the statement continued.

Some high school coaches, who have already been allowed to host summer workouts at a social distance the last four weeks, told NBC 5 Sports that safety of players and staff must come first. The conversation was featured in a round-table discussion with Pat Doney two weeks ago.

“I tell our kids and parents that we’ll do whatever we need to do,” flower mound high school head football coach brian basil. “if that means playing in the spring, if that means delaying the start of the season, we’ll do whatever it takes.”

Others have mixed feelings.

“I know for my kids, a lot of their livelihood and continuing on to free education depends on a football season,” south oak cliff high school head football coach Jason Todd said. “A lot of kids, that’s their motivation to do better in school in the community I serve. I think it’s a big piece and we would be missing a lot, if it’s taken away.”

Meantime on Friday, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools announced it would push the start of fall sporting events to late September.

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