FHSAA Reverses Course, Delays Start of Fall Season

Paul Steinbach Headshot

Last Monday, the Florida High School Athletic Association drew backlash when it voted 10-5 to allow programs in the state to begin practice July 27 — in other words, today. By Thursday, FHSAA had reversed that decision, delaying the start of the fall practice season to Aug. 24, by an 11-4 vote.

Since reopening commerce in the state, Florida has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot.

“After following the meeting on Monday, we were incredibly disappointed and just in total disbelief,” said Shawn Cerra, the Broward County Director of Athletics and Student Activities. “I’m just incredibly proud of Broward’s leadership in making this decision to do what we need to do despite the decision on Monday. I’m glad they got some pushback and they saw that they needed to revisit this, not only for South Florida but for the state as a whole. I’m hopeful they’ll do what they need to do to protect all of the children this state and the coaches and the adults.”

Related: Florida HS Association Votes to Maintain Fall Schedule

As reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the measure allows teams to continue summer conditioning, if it has been allowed by their districts, through Aug. 24. The measure directs FHSAA executive director George Tomyn to coordinate with the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and other advisory committees to work on a fall sports plan. The measure calls for the FHSAA Board of Directors to meet again sometime between Aug. 10 and Aug. 17 to discuss how to move forward.

The board’s vote last Monday to allow fall practice to begin the following Monday was met with criticism from across the state. The board did not vote on any of the recommendations presented by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, which included delaying the start of the season, requiring coronavirus screenings and having student-athletes and their guardian sign a coronavirus waiver before playing.

“It is our stance that return to competition for the high-risk sports of football and volleyball is not medically safe,” Jennifer Maynard, a physician at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville who also serves as chair of the FHSAA's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, said at the time.

Even coaches had issues with the FHSAA's original decision.

“Everybody wants the chance to coach. Everybody wants to do what’s right. But we want to do it the right way,” Coral Glades coach Cameron Thomas said on Wednesday. “We don’t want to regress to, ‘Oh, y’all can’t play no more.’ If the NFL and NCAA are having problems, who does the state think they are by saying, ‘Oh we can go ahead and practice?’ People that are making millions are having problems with this."

Page 1 of 466
Next Page
AB Show 2024 in New Orleans
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Nov. 19-22, 2024
Learn More
AB Show 2024
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide