Executive director Robin Hines and the GHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee met Wednesday to discuss the ongoing health crisis and the possibility of delaying the start of the 2020 football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Though no official statement was released by Hines or the GHSA, according to a report from Score Atlanta writer Craig Sager II, the committee approved of retaining the state’s Sept. 4 start date to the regular season. The report also stated the committee recommended all preseason scrimmages be canceled.
Speculation had risen in recent days about the planned start of the season, or if it would start at all, after Dr. Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, took part in a conference call with school superintendents around the state last week. During the call, she expressed concern about the increased risk of COVID-19 to students in certain extracurricular activities, including football. As of now, the regular season will remain at 10 games with a full round of playoffs to follow. The GHSA Board of Trustees passed a motion last month that pushed back the start of the season from its original date of Aug. 21.
We were hoping we could keep the season, but you never know, LaFayette coach Paul Ellis said. Anything that’s for the safety of the kids, I’m totally for. It’s about the kids, and if that’s what we’re supposed to be about, then we have to have what’s best for them. If they deem we can play, I’m totally fine with it. Everybody I’ve talked to in Georgia is doing what they can do to make things safe. If we want to have a shot at playing, we have to abide by the rules and be diligent.