Ky. BOE conducts Friday virtual meeting to discuss KHSAA fall sports plan

Members of Kentucky's Board of Education met Friday to discuss the KHSAA's plan for fall sports.
Members of Kentucky's Board of Education met Friday to discuss the KHSAA's plan for fall sports.(WKYT/Olivia Russell)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 12:17 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Last week, the KHSAA laid out its plans for the upcoming fall season, but the Kentucky Board of Education spent more than three hours Friday clarifying details about moving forward.

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett and State Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack both spoke at the meeting.

Dr. Stack said children are not immune to COVID-19 and advised the council that not only can the get the virus, they can also easily spread it. Dr. Tackett also reminded members what it took to get where we are today.

During the meeting, Commissioner Tackett, who was in the spotlight for most of the meeting, explained how the KHSAA developed their plan, and the decisions he made to get there.

As for enforcing the guidelines, Tackett admits the organization isn’t staffed to handle claims across the state.

He says responsibility will also be in the hands of local officials like superintendents and health departments who will help investigate claims.

He wants people to know the KHSAA is taking the virus, and the safety of student-athletes, seriously.

“If they see the standards not being adhered to, the first thing they’ve got to do locally, is stop the contest,” said Tackett. “We say, ‘Look if we don’t straighten it up, we’re canceling it.’ And that is an expectation. And if they don’t do it, we have the ability – seldom used and don’t like to do it – but, we could just say ‘OK, you’re done with athletics until you figure out how to learn to police this.’”

After nearly four hours of discussion, the board voted on only one action that passed unanimously. The approved item calls on members of the Department of Education to draft and send a letter to the KHSAA Board of Control, urging additional consideration of alternative options for high-contact fall sports.

This does not mean, at this time, that fall sports have been postponed or altered in any way from the plan that was originally sent down from the KHSAA. Yesterday, board members spent all day answering thousands of phone calls and emails trying to put rumors to rest.

Board members maintained today that canceling or postponing fall sports was not on the table for discussion, and Friday’s meeting was a normal course of action since the Board of Education is the governing body for all Kentucky high schools.

Tackett says the top priority for the season is letting the kids play, and then they’ll focus on fans and family members at games.

One thing that is certain, we won’t see packed stadiums at all this season.

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