GAINESVILLE - With an intention to not change dates for the upcoming fall sports season, but, more importantly, keeping in line with state and federal regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 …
GAINESVILLE - With an intention to not change dates for the upcoming fall sports season, but, more importantly, keeping in line with state and federal regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 situations, the Florida High School Athletic Association conducted yet another Board of Directors and Task Force meeting on Thurs., July 9.
Justin Harrison, the associate executive director at FHSAA, George Tomyn, the FHSAA director and Lauren Otero, the president of the FHSAA Task Board and athletic director at Tampa Plant High School, all bantied around ideas with the rest of the board and task force; 11 more attendees from around the state, addressing the issue of starting fall sports.
One member of the Task Force, John Gerdes, athletic director at Clearwater Central Catholic High School, simply said one answer is not going to fit the bill.
"It's impossible to have one size fit all, whether it's this task force or anyone else," said Gerdes. "I think we want to see every school do what's best for them."
Otero, who noted that more than 400 people had registered to watch the Thursday ZOOM meeting, cited that a proposal was put together with Harrison and some ideas from the task force that had four different start dates for the fall sports teams dependent on the COVID-19 situation in particular parts of the state and school district's readiness to address safety concerns. Otero also noted that four FHSAA members on the Task Force did not vote for the discussed proposal.
"I do feel that everyone across the state is very interested in knowing what his going on," said Otero. "The intent of this meeting was to hear from Mr. Harrison to outline for us the details of this plan. It also gives the Task Force an opportunity for questions."
Harrison, wno, according to Tomyn only had his name affixed to the proposal because he put it on paper and distributed it.
"What you (Task Force) sees in front of you is not a proposal from the FHSAA," said Tomyn. "It is not a staff iniatitive and, although referred to as Justin's plan, or Mr. Harrison's plan, he was just an author of a draft form that our staff had looked at. This is merely an attempt on capturing (the Task Force) intent from the last Task Force meeting."
Tomyn again put the onus on the Task Force to make decisions based on the proposal and advise the FHSAA.
"Our current calender has not changed and remains the same as previously published," said Tomyn. "The FHSAA classifications of sports has also not changed."
The proposal centered around four possible start dates for Florida schools pertaining to their readiness; Four divisions with start dates of July 27, August 10, August 24 and September 7 with first games to be staged August 17-29, August 31-Sept 12, Sept. 14-Sept. 26 and Sept. 28 and beyond.
The FHSAA would be tasked to reclassify schools according to what schools started on what date and the school's population.
Harrison compared the preparations for the season nearly the same as adjusting to Florida's hurricane seasons which interrupt schedules and season throughout the state.