Athletic administrators pissed off by state advice to delay fall sports activities season
Maine athletic directors exhibited appreciable frustration on Tuesday after they realized the Maine Division of Well being and Human Companies and the Division of Schooling has recommended the Maine Principals’ Association revisit its return-to-play policy and delay the beginning date for fall sports activities.
A letter from Well being Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Schooling Commissioner Pender Makin to the affiliation’s interscholastic government director, Mike Burnham, mentioned a number of components in the MPA plan approved by the organization last week didn’t line up with Maine’s insurance policies for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s very irritating,” Hampden Academy athletic administrator Fred Decrease mentioned.
“The rules put forth by the MPA had been very clear. Now nothing is absolutely clear. And it ought to be,” he added.
The commissioners didn’t counsel the autumn sports activities season ought to be canceled however requested that additional modifications be made by the affiliation.
Brewer athletic administrator Dave Utterback mentioned the state companies seem to have finished an about-face of their method to working with the affiliation.
“Two weeks in the past, they mentioned they had been going to observe the suggestions of the MPA. Then they ship out a four-page letter right now saying the MPA didn’t do it the way in which they wished them to do it,” Utterback mentioned. “What did they need the MPA to do?”
The beginning of the autumn sports activities season had already been pushed again to Sept. 8, with the primary countable video games in all sports activities besides soccer being held no sooner than Sept. 18. Soccer would start Sept. 25.
Orono athletic administrator Mike Archer desires somebody to take cost and get the student-athletes off the emotional rollercoaster they’ve been caught on.
“If somebody doesn’t need us to play, make the choice!” Archer mentioned. “The youngsters have to know. They’ve been dangled alongside lengthy sufficient.”
Decrease harassed that the affiliation has taken severely the duty of making an attempt to supply athletics alternatives for Maine college students.
“The MPA did all the pieces it might to make it protected,” Decrease mentioned. “They checked out knowledge, talked to different states about what they had been doing. I actually really feel for our student-athletes.”
Archer mentioned he feels as if he has failed his student-athletes as a result of he can’t reply their questions on what the autumn season may entail. And the clock is already ticking.
“I might care much less if we’ve state championship video games. The youngsters simply wish to play and get in a season. That’s as massive a win as something,” Archer mentioned.
Utterback mentioned Tuesday’s growth got here as no shock to him.
“This has been happening since mid-March,” Utterback mentioned. “It was a matter of when was the state going to claim its authority on this.”
In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu and his administration in July gave the go-ahead to play highschool sports activities. Up to now, 41 faculty districts have voted to play soccer.
“The governors in New Hampshire and Vermont received proper out in entrance of this and determined what their states had been going to do,” Utterback mentioned.
The athletic administrators mentioned they’re conscious tips for college tutorial applications and different non-sports actions have already been applied and that some may examine these tips to those utilized in numerous sports activities, particularly the high-risk sports activities like soccer.
They know some districts are ready to see how the transition again to high school goes earlier than making an evaluation on sports activities.
The athletic administrators harassed that their main concern is the protection of the student-athletes, the coaches and their respective communities. They simply need readability on what’s going to occur.
“If that is going to be the usual of operations week after week after week, what is going to we’ve left [for a season]?” Archer requested.