Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Florida’s going to forge ahead with sports, even if the medical advice points in the other direction.
According to Buddy Collins of the Orlando Sentinel, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted to proceed with the current calendar for high school sports, which includes football practice starting next Monday.
The FHSAA board voted 10-5 to keep things as they were originally scheduled, voting down three proposals which would have pushed the start date back two weeks.
The group’s sports medicine advisory committee recommended that football and girls volleyball be delayed indefinitely because of their increased risk, but some board members didn’t get the report until Monday.
“It is our stance that return to competition for the high-risk sports of football and volleyball is not medically safe,” said Dr. Jennifer Maynard, a Jacksonville physician from the Mayo Clinic who chair’s the committee.
The board did agree to another meeting next week, but at the moment, football will begin as scheduled in one of the nation’s hotspots for COVID-19.
“We right now, whether you want to recognize it or not, are the epicenter,” said Miami Riviera Prep athletic director Mark Schusterman said. “The truth of the matter is this is spreading across the state. Unless we contribute in stopping it, we are putting our kids in danger.”
Other states, including California, are making adjustments to schedules including pushing football back to the spring. Florida has been the most welcoming of states to bringing sports and large events back, hosting the NBA and MLS bubbles in Orlando, and volunteering to host a large political convention in August.
The Buccaneers and Dolphins pushed back rookie reporting for two days (it was scheduled to begin today), but otherwise NFL training camps appear to be beginning on schedule as well.