(WCCU/WICS/WRSP) - High school sports fans in Illinois are still dealing with an unprecedented fall without football. While all other sports are also facing a modified schedule, there could be some changes to the remainder of the athletic calendar on the horizon.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson releasing a statement regarding a letter he wrote to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, and Deputy Governor Jesse Ruiz.
In the letter, Anderson asked that the IHSA and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee resume control over determining the resumption of IHSA sports and activities.
This letter coming on the heels of nearby states, like Michigan, reinstating football this fall. Anderson made it clear today that there have been no discussions, or proposed timelines, for resuming any sports at this time. He noted that under state leadership, Illinois has seen one of the lowest infection rates in the country, but added that just across our states borders, other teams are competing in sports that are currently not allowed in Illinois.
"Several surrounding states have successfully conducted sports categorized as medium and high risk here in Illinois, and we believe sports and activities are safest when conducted under the IHSA safety protocols by school personnel."
Anderson says that a positive response from the Governor's office could result in the IHSA examining both season and postseason schedules for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, which makes the return of State Tournaments and State Championships a possibility moving forward.
Anderson's statement regarding the letter can be read in its entirety below.
“With support from the IHSA Board of Directors, I issued a letter on September 10 to Governor Pritzker and Deputy Governor Ruiz, that seeks permission for the IHSA and its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to resume control over determining the resumption of IHSA sports and activities. However, the content of that letter has been greatly misconstrued on social media in a short amount of time. There have been no discussions, let alone proposed timelines, for resuming any sports at this time. Should our office receive a positive response from government officials, it could result in the IHSA reexamining its previously released season schedules, as well as postseason schedules, for the 2020-21 school year.
It is important to note that, under the leadership of Governor Pritzker, Illinois has attained one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the country. Additionally, several surrounding states have successfully conducted sports categorized as medium and high risk here in Illinois, and we believe sports and activities are safest when conducted under the IHSA safety protocols by school personnel. Those combined factors led us to issue this letter, and we will respectfully await response to it.
The IHSA is not involved in any planned protests this weekend related to high school sports. If protests occur, we encourage all attendees to be safe, smart and respectful.”