IHSA, State Continue to Debate HS Sports Schedule

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The high school sports in Illinois is in a strange limbo state, as the Illinois High School Association and governor J.B. Pritzker continue to negotiate over when it will be appropriate for sports to resume. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Pritzker’s stance is to not allow sports to resume until the spring. However, the current IHSA calendar plans for football to begin in mid-February.  

This week, state senator Andy Manar, who will resign in order to join the Pritzker administration, told a Springfield radio station that conversations will be ongoing, but blamed the IHSA for how it handled an attempt to play basketball as scheduled over the winter.

“If there is a way to do something, which was done in sports early on, the administration is going to find a way to do it,” Manar told Sports Radio 1450 AM. “But it is going to be led with public health. That’s the best way to do it.”

The IHSA’s basketball gambit, while attracting some schools to attempt to play, ultimately failed when insurance companies wouldn’t insure the schools, forcing the hands of superintendents and school boards.

“I do not believe the IHSA has handled this situation well,” Manar said. “I’m going to say that as a state senator. I’ve made my opinion known about that. The idea that the IHSA would give direction to their members to go have sports, knowing that wasn’t going to happen and opening them up to legal ramifications for property taxpayers. To me, [it] is just a move that was really ill-advised. Unfortunately that was the case.”

Meanwhile, the IHSA is urging athletic directors to reach out to their representatives to try to get meetings scheduled between it and the state department of health. What such a meeting might accomplish, however, is unclear.


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