‘If you don’t want to play, don’t play’: Cuomo responds to NY School Superintendent group on sports

High School Sports

(WSYR-TV) — During a conference call for the media on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York State’s guidance for school sports was released for districts who want to play sports to do so safely.

Gov. Cuomo clarified that the decision for schools to play sports is up to the individual districts. “If a school superintendent doesn’t want to do it, then don’t do it,” said Gov. Cuomo. “We won’t mandate them to play.”

The New York State Council of School Superintendents sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday asking him to delay the start of high school sports until Jan. 1, 2021.

In the letter, they ask Cuomo to “reconsider the decision to allow school athletics to begin September 21.”

The superintendents believe that starting high school sports too early could jeopardize the start of in-person learning.

“We have struggled to reconcile why students in physical education classes must be 12 feet apart per reopening guidance, yet contact athletics and other activities that regularly bring athletes into close proximity are deemed safe at this time,” the letter said.

They believe the challenges that high school sports will face –like crowds, locker rooms and transportation — will be too much to handle while also trying to bring students back to school.

Students need to be in school, with their friends and teachers as soon as possible. School leaders need to be focused on this effort and not have their attention diverted to extracurricular activities at this moment. It is our view that school athletics will risk this endeavor and that is not a compromise we believe should be taken.

Letter to the governor from The Council of School Superintendents

The superintendents emphasized that they are not calling for a full cancellation of high school sports at this time. They are asking for a delay in all school athletics until Jan. 1, 2021.

As we approach the new year, we should collaborate with all stakeholders to develop and agree on a plan to consolidate all three athletic seasons into the second semester so that student-athletes have an equitable opportunity to participate in the sport of their choice.

Letter to the governor from The Council of School Superintendents

You can read the full letter to the governor below:

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