With the school year hanging in the balance of Gov. Brian Kemp, the Georgia High School Association will meet next week to discuss how it should proceed with the spring sports season.
Kemp mandated on Monday that schools statewide close until at least March 31 due to the novel coronavirus.
All spring sports have been postponed as school districts are following the orders of the governor of mandatory school closings.
Many school districts have been on hiatus since March 16 as they have taken their learning online. During this time, school facilities, including practices and competition, have been off limits.
Many athletes have been working out on their own as coaches developed workout plans.
All major sports leagues have suspended options while evaluating the impact of the virus. This week, college conferences have cancelled its spring sports, including spring football practices.
The University System of Georgia, which includes about 25 universities across the state have gone to online classes only and many have either cancelled or postponed graduation commencement.
While there is grim hope that school will return this school year, GHSA executive director Robin Hines said the organization will meet to discuss plans if spring sports resume in a couple of weeks.
“Conventional wisdom would make you think in those terms,” Hines told the Athens Banner on Thursday, “however, from what we’re hearing from the national level and the state level, that if we do these things and really isolate ourselves, don’t gather in large groups and everything it will, as they say, flatten out the curve and maybe we’ll get to the other side of the apex of this virus at a much quicker rate than before.”
The GHSA meeting could take in consideration an abbreviate sports season that includes the playoffs.
There are nine sanctioned GHSA spring sports, including baseball, soccer and track and field, that had to pause mid-season.
The number of cases of coronavirus continue to increase in the state and across the nation. Several professional athletes and celebrities have came forward that they have contracted the virus. On Thursday, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton posted on social media that he had the virus.
“If schools are still closed, there certainly are not decisions to be made because we’re scholastic education-based activities which are an extension of the school,” he said. “And if we’re not in school, we’re certainly not going to play. I have concerns that as long as numbers of cases are growing out there in the state of Georgia and that sort of thing, I don’t think that things are going to change.”