I’ve often been openly critical of previous decisions made by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, but the KHSAA Board of Control absolutely made the right decision earlier this week by canceling spring sports and the 2020 state basketball tournaments.
But just because I agree with this decision, does not mean that it’s a happy occasion. In fact, this is one of the most unfortunate and sad situations in high school sports any of us have seen.
Hundreds of senior athletes across the commonwealth just had their athletic careers tragically cut short due to no fault of their own. The pain they are going through must be unbearable, and they are in my thoughts and prayers.
But I do want to focus on this decision made by the KHSAA as it will surely be criticized by some in the general public.
First off, it needs to be known that the cancellation of spring prep sports is not unique to the state of Kentucky. As of press time of this column, at least 36 out of the 50 states in this country had made the same move.
Even Tennessee, which is a state that is starting to open up select businesses before most states in the nation do, has already cancelled spring prep sports.
So if you are an athlete, parent or fan of Kentucky high schools sports, know that the KHSAA’s decision at the very least is not a cruel or unjustified position.
I’m not interested (nor do I find it appropriate) in commenting on the political arguments of how to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. If you want a political debate on how specific leaders are handling this situation, then look elsewhere because you aren’t going to get it in this sports column.
Instead, I implore anyone reading this or anyone who takes issue with the KHSAA’s decision to look at the opinions of medical professionals in this country. Across the board, credible experts insist that we aren’t out of the woods yet with this virus.
As a nation, we have successfully prevented COVID-19 from reaching worst-case scenario levels of infection due to our sacrifices made by social distancing. The curve is being flattened as we speak.
However, that curve has to dive down yet and all models support that social distancing measures need to keep up for just a little while longer. The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight.
Sporting events often put groups of at least 50 people together with ease. Having hundreds of high school games going on almost daily throughout the state would be an incredibly dangerous way for this virus to spread and spike back up. That’s just the harsh reality we live in right now.
The past few paragraphs have admittedly been my opinions on this situation so feel free to disagree. However, these are the opinions also shared by America’s top healthcare experts trying to lead us out of this concerning time. Disagreeing with the science at hand seems like quite the problematic position.
However, I still feel like focusing on that aspect of the KHSAA’s decision is somewhat missing the point.
We may have our disagreements about when to specifically return to normal, but what matters here is the safety and well-being of the kids of this great state.
The fact that the KHSAA is putting the well-being of its athletes over playing games and making money is an incredibly admirable position and it should be championed by the public.
I love sports as they have been the one, true love of my life thus far. However, they pale in comparison to the safety of the general public. We must all continue to be patient and keep a united front in beating this virus.
We are winning this battle right now, and we must continue the good fight. I applaud the KHSAA for doing its part in defeating this invisible enemy.
Keep the hope and positivity for I believe the sacrifices being made now will result in a fall season full of terrific and awesome athletic achievements by our athletes. Until then, keep the faith and keep the current senior class in your thoughts.
Let’s finish this final period of this pandemic strong just as spring athletes would have finished their high school careers.