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News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
CHARLOTTE — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association should decide by Oct. 1 what changes to make to its playoffs schedules in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
"We're still giving our schools enough time to access damages to let us know what they're dealing with," said Commissioner Que Tucker. "So for us to come out with anything at this point would be premature. We don't know the conditions of the many schools impacted."
Throughout North Carolina, teams missed games because of the hurricane last week, and some schools are closed this week because of flooding. No football games have been canceled in Guilford or Rockingham counties.
Tucker said she's seen a video of water dripping from the ceiling and pooling on a gym floor and another North Carolina high school football field under water. She also spoke with Onslow County's athletics director, who told her that none of the county's schools would be in session this week and maybe not next week, either.
"There are 417 member schools in the association from Manteo to Murphy," Tucker said. "That's a lot to try to access. So we have not begun to formulate any major plans. What we are going to do next week is ask our schools to give us a status report: Are you back in school? And access to see how many games folks are behind. We know many will be at least two games behind."
The NCHSAA pushed back its football playoffs a week in 2016 because of Hurricane Matthew.
This year's state football playoffs are scheduled to start Nov. 9, with state finals set for Dec. 8.
Tucker said the association would look at extending all fall sports playoffs. Asked if she would entertain altering the current football playoff format to shorten it or to extend the season two weeks to allow a state final to be played, Tucker said anything is possible.
"I think you could put everything on the table because of the widespread devastation (because of Florence)," Tucker said.
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