After several states announced decisions to delay or move its high school football season this fall, the state of Florida is moving forward with its plan to play practice on schedule and begin openers in August, Board of Directors President Lauren Otero announced during this week’s Board of Directors meeting. Following a five-hour conversation led by decision-makers within the Florida High School Athletic Association on Monday, the Sunshine State voted 10-5 against the state’s own medical advisory committee to begin practice on July 27.
The Broward County Athletic Association said Tuesday it will not follow advice from the state level and has elected to delay its start, citing student-athlete safety concerns. Like California and Texas, Florida has seen a spike in coronavirus cases statewide this month, making it one of the country’s hotspots during the pandemic.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday defended his state’s battle against COVID-19, saying he expects the surge of positive cases to slow in the coming weeks, citing inaccurate recent criticisms and the fact ICU bed capacity, at the moment, is manageable. According to Bulls247, DeSantis recently called the potential cancellation of high school sports for the fall semester devastating and championed a hope for a return to the gridiron in the fall.
We’ve got a lot of young kids who this is their ticket to be able to go to college through athletics, DeSantis said. “We want to see opportunity for the students, and we want to see, obviously, with a parental choice for them to be able to exercise that for distance learning if they want. But I think we just have to give as many opportunities for kids as possible.