First off, I know many of you want to take your frustrations out on someone for the delay in Arizona high school football. I’d suggest before burying the AIA, understand Executive Director David Hines is a good, well-intentioned man. None of us have ever been through a pandemic, all of us want to see kids get back on the field. Some grace from all of us would be a good thing right about now – that includes me.
I’ve been as angry and frustrated as anyone with the lack of attention to this matter by Governor Doug Ducey. When just last night the Governor of Colorado stepped in on their delay in high school football, it just took my breath away about what’s happened here. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the much bigger story.
Barring a spike in COVID-19 where the Governor would have to get involved (I would think/hope), Arizona high school football will happen the week of October 2nd IF District Athletic Directors and Cabinet Board members for each school district decide it’s safe to play.
My Labor Day weekend was sprinkled with texts, calls and notes from upset and confused parents and coaches who thought last Wednesday’s Executive Board announcement had cleared the way for football and there would be no more question about playing next month. However, there was a letter sent out last Friday by Hines that no more than 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
I caught up with Hines over text message on Tuesday afternoon for clarity.
If you don’t get to the 10 by 100,000 metric by the week of October 2nd will we not have high school football in 2020? “That is the metric to play football games in the document. However, the Board is monitoring all data and can recommend changes if and when needed with the document. Adjustments are possible.”
Recommended guidelines, but it’s still a final call by each District AD and Cabinet Board for each district, unless Governor got involved? “Yes, that is correct.”
So, the AIA has recommendations. The metrics used are the AIA SMAC recommendations. The districts have their metrics, the AIA has their recommendations. If the district wants to add a cup of flower rather 3/4 cup as the AIA recommends, the district will still bake the cake.
As one District AD put it to me on Tuesday, “One can’t stick to a number for an entire county, let’s play.”