ISBE says it does not have oversight over high school sports

Illinois State Board of Education. (Courtesy: Illinois State Board of Education)

(WCCU/WICS/WRSP) - Another chapter in what has been the summer of uncertainty regarding high school sports on Thursday. Just one week after the IHSA deferred all decisions to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Governor's office, one third of those entities somewhat stepping away from the situation.

In an email to athletic directors across the state of Illinois, Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen Ayala said the following.

"We understand the difficulties that Illinois Elementary School Association and Illinois High School Association programs are facing due to COVID-19, and that many families have questions connected to youth sports," said Ayala. "ISBE does not have oversight over these associations or organized sports activities outside of physical education. We do not have authority over the guidance directing the activities of these organizations and cannot respond on their behalf. Individuals with concerns about youth sports and other extracurricular activities will need to contact the IESA or IHSA directly."

Leaders from the IHSA, IDPH, and ISBE are set to meet on Friday, ahead of next weeks IHSA board of directors meeting. An official decision on the status of high school sports in 2020 is expected from the IHSA on Wednesday, July 29.

The statement from ISBE another frustrating one for high school athletes, coaches, and parents, who have seen a lot of change with no official decisions made in the month of July.

July 3: IDPH approves IHSA Phase 4 return to play guidelines
July 9: IHSA modifies Phase 4 eliminating scrimmages
July 14: IHSA defers decisions to IDPH, ISBE, Governor's office
July 23: ISBE says any questions need to go to the IHSA directly
July 24: Meeting between IHSA/IDPH/ISBE scheduled
July 29: IHSA Board of Directors set to meet and a definitive answer on high school sports is expected