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FHSAA Emergency Meeting


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My prediction:  (1) The Board will accept the recommendation of the Task Force to move the start of fall sports from July 27th to August 10th;  (2) The Board will get somewhat confused by "Plan B" (a/k/a, Justin's Plan), but ultimately will adopt it because no one else will have the time to present a comprehensive plan that can be hashed out in a couple of hours; and (3) after saying a dozen times that the most important thing is the health and safety of the kids, the Board will stay away from enacting any mandates or guidelines that relate to the COVID issue for fear of future litigation. 

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8 hours ago, Perspective said:

My prediction:  (1) The Board will accept the recommendation of the Task Force to move the start of fall sports from July 27th to August 10th;  (2) The Board will get somewhat confused by "Plan B" (a/k/a, Justin's Plan), but ultimately will adopt it because no one else will have the time to present a comprehensive plan that can be hashed out in a couple of hours; and (3) after saying a dozen times that the most important thing is the health and safety of the kids, the Board will stay away from enacting any mandates or guidelines that relate to the COVID issue for fear of future litigation

Sad, but true. Most of us want to lead. But few of us have what it takes. 

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15 hours ago, panhandle_zebra said:

In the recommended action the executive director will not accept the Task Force proposal. Reading the tea leaves, no fall sports. 

https://www.fhsaa.org/node/49135

 

Technically the FHSAA can't cancel fall sports, they can only cancel any postseason and state series games 

 

 

Playing fall sports is up to the individual counties so what will likely happen is some counties will play, others will go majority online and cancel athletics through January

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Does the FHSAA have the authority to move the start date of the Fall football season, or is the start date of the season determined by local county governments based upon if and when they allow schools to re-open? Is it possible we could see one county opening schools and allowing Fall sports while a neighboring county goes strictly off-line and prohibits Fall sports? Would we then see a mass migration of athletes from one county to their neighboring county?

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On 7/16/2020 at 6:47 PM, panhandle_zebra said:

In the recommended action the executive director will not accept the Task Force proposal. Reading the tea leaves, no fall sports. 

https://www.fhsaa.org/node/49135

 

If you read the document behind the document, you'll notice that it says the Executive Director does not "recommend adoption of the proposal as attached."  So, you can read that one of at least two ways:  (1) that Tomyn doesn't support the concept set forth in the proposal (prepared by his staff, mind you); or (2) that Tomyn supports concepts like pushing back dates and reclassifying schools based on their start dates, but just doesn't like the specific language contained in the proposal.   I'm guessing we'll learn more this afternoon. 

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On 7/17/2020 at 5:44 PM, HornetFan said:

Does the FHSAA have the authority to move the start date of the Fall football season, or is the start date of the season determined by local county governments based upon if and when they allow schools to re-open? Is it possible we could see one county opening schools and allowing Fall sports while a neighboring county goes strictly off-line and prohibits Fall sports? Would we then see a mass migration of athletes from one county to their neighboring county?

Hornet, I'll start this with the proverbial "I could be wrong, but" just to make it clear that I haven't done the research.  But here's what I think:  for schools that have chosen to be FHSAA members (so that they can complete in state championship series, like the vast majority of the schools, or so that they are properly "sanctioned" and can compete in out-of-state games, like IMG), those schools have agreed to abide by the rules promulgated by the FHSAA.  These rules would include football start dates.  From the FHSAA's standpoint, they want all schools on an equal playing field -- thus, they set dates for when practice can begin and when games can be played.  Individual counties can do whatever they want and for non-FHSAA schools, what the county says goes.  But, for example, if a county were to say football practice for schools in our county can start July 21st and the FHSAA says football can't start until August 21st, teams in that county who belong to the FHSAA and who start before August 21st would face sanctions from the FHSAA for violating FHSAA rules. 

Personally, I think the FHSAA is struggling with their overall philosophy of keeping things fair and consistent throughout the state with the practical realization that COVID has impacted different parts of the state in dramatically different ways.  In many respects, the "Justin/Plan B"  proposal tried to reconcile these two competing interests.  

The thing to keep in mind is that the FHSAA is not a cohesive group when it comes to may sports issues.  Same goes for the Fall Sports Task Force.   All of the members of the overall organization and the task force will use the right words, like "our primary concern is the health and safety of the student-athletes."  But, if you listen to their comments, it's clear that the private school administrator from south Florida has a totally different outlook on this situation from the athletic director from the panhandle.    In the end, it may be difficult to get the Board to agree on anything this afternoon. 

I could see them agreeing to allow schools/counties to start up whenever they think it's safe to do so (putting that decision solely in the hands of the individual counties), but no sooner than July 27 (or August 10, or some other random date).  Then, they'll either establish some (stricter?) parameters for any teams wanting to compete in a state championship series that will make it fair for most, if not all schools and counties or, alternatively, they'll simply punt on a state championship series altogether this year. 

As for your last question, I don't think you're going to see a lot of difference between neighboring counties.  The differences will be between various parts of the state.  Thus, I don't think you'll see the migration. 

Just my two cents. 

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I could see where some of the metro counties may decide to cancel fall sports, while the private schools in those counties along with the remaining counties will want to proceed with fall sports. In turn this forces the FHSAA to cancel the state playoffs. So what's left for the rest of us to do? In my opinion, scrap your current schedule and follow the example set by the small private schools and form a conference.  

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41 minutes ago, Hwy17 said:

I could see where some of the metro counties may decide to cancel fall sports, while the private schools in those counties along with the remaining counties will want to proceed with fall sports. In turn this forces the FHSAA to cancel the state playoffs. So what's left for the rest of us to do? In my opinion, scrap your current schedule and follow the example set by the small private schools and form a conference.  

I think if the FHSAA scraps the football playoffs for this year, it (hopefully) will be a one-year, isolated event.  And, for that one year, they will allow teams to play one (possibly two) additional post-regular season games.  A conference championship (2- or 4-team format), a county championship (2- or 4-team format), or a 'bowl' game (2-team format), so that the kids have some sort of title (beyond regular season championship) to shoot for. 

Personally, I don't see a huge defection (or even a small one, for that matter) from the FHSAA, unless the FHSAA just closes the door shut on everything. 

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1 hour ago, Perspective said:

I think if the FHSAA scraps the football playoffs for this year, it (hopefully) will be a one-year, isolated event.  And, for that one year, they will allow teams to play one (possibly two) additional post-regular season games.  A conference championship (2- or 4-team format), a county championship (2- or 4-team format), or a 'bowl' game (2-team format), so that the kids have some sort of title (beyond regular season championship) to shoot for. 

Personally, I don't see a huge defection (or even a small one, for that matter) from the FHSAA, unless the FHSAA just closes the door shut on everything. 

I don't think there is much of a chance that we will see state playoff games this season, especially if football is scheduled in the Fall. South Florida has been hit much harder than the rest of the state; they may not be able to start playing till late September, if at all this Fall. If I were a team from an area of the state that didn't suffer massive cases, I wouldn't travel to South Florida for a game. County championships may be the best option.  

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1 hour ago, Perspective said:

I think if the FHSAA scraps the football playoffs for this year, it (hopefully) will be a one-year, isolated event.  And, for that one year, they will allow teams to play one (possibly two) additional post-regular season games.  A conference championship (2- or 4-team format), a county championship (2- or 4-team format), or a 'bowl' game (2-team format), so that the kids have some sort of title (beyond regular season championship) to shoot for. 

Personally, I don't see a huge defection (or even a small one, for that matter) from the FHSAA, unless the FHSAA just closes the door shut on everything. 

Exactly! Given the such short notice I think the schools need to be thinking along these lines as a backup plan.  

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Some states have canceled fall sports; some states are keeping things the way they are; some states are pushing the start times for fall sports back a little and some are pushing the start times back to January of 2021 (I think this is what California just did today).  Here's the biggest issue facing the Florida high school football world right now:  there are multiple solutions to this problem and it may be impossible to get a board with members who represent different parts of the state and various viewpoints to agree on anything.  The proposal that is selected (probably this afternoon) is not necessarily going to be the one that makes the most sense.  At the end of the day, the FHSAA is a political body and this isn't a "yes or no" vote on a specific issue.   What gets adopted may simply be the last proposal that gets made at the end of the day, after all the other proposals have failed and when all the directors are tired and hungry and ready to be done with the issue, the meeting and the call.   

By the way, the fact that the medical task force is recommended an indefinite suspension of all activities does not bode well for those who want to see football start any time in the near future. 

My last question is purely rhetorical:  who, if anyone, at this afternoon's meeting represents the voice of the players? 

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3 hours ago, Perspective said:

I think if the FHSAA scraps the football playoffs for this year, it (hopefully) will be a one-year, isolated event.  And, for that one year, they will allow teams to play one (possibly two) additional post-regular season games.  A conference championship (2- or 4-team format), a county championship (2- or 4-team format), or a 'bowl' game (2-team format), so that the kids have some sort of title (beyond regular season championship) to shoot for. 

Personally, I don't see a huge defection (or even a small one, for that matter) from the FHSAA, unless the FHSAA just closes the door shut on everything. 

I agree, but on the last statement, doesn't state law require all public schools to be members of FHSAA? This is one of the reasons why the FHSAA is different than other states as it is a quasi-state sanctioned organization. Granted, a school could belong to the FHSAA and just be independent and play in another Association as well and compete for a title that way.

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Unfortunately I see this going 1 of 2 ways.  ALL or NONE, look at what the executive director has said repeatedly "the start date is July 27th for Fall sports" he will either keep it the 27th and say start when you can OR he will go with the SMAC rep and say cancel it.  The leadership at the FHSAA doesn't want to move to the Spring like other states have...Why you ask...WHO KNOWS!?!?!?  I along with a lot of people hope we move Football and Volleyball to the Spring and Baseball and Softball to the Fall.  This however makes the most sense so it probably will not happen.  IF colleges and other states can move football to the spring so can the FHSAA...Yes it will take a little bit of work, but they all say they do it for what is best for the kids...IF that is true move Football and Volleyball to the spring....Or stop saying you do whats best for the kids.

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20 minutes ago, gatorman-uf said:

I agree, but on the last statement, doesn't state law require all public schools to be members of FHSAA? This is one of the reasons why the FHSAA is different than other states as it is a quasi-state sanctioned organization. Granted, a school could belong to the FHSAA and just be independent and play in another Association as well and compete for a title that way.

(Using my Siri voice)  "Here's what I've found:"

This is a portion of Section 1006.20, Florida Statutes:  "However, membership in the FHSAA is not mandatory for any school. The FHSAA must allow a private school the option of maintaining full membership in the association or joining by sport and may not discourage a private school from simultaneously maintaining membership in another athletic association. The FHSAA may allow a public school the option to apply for consideration to join another athletic association."  

I suspect the vast majority of public schools in Florida are members of the FHSAA and the vast majority are members in all sports.  That said, and while I, admittedly, did not look long or hard, I did not see language in the statute that requires a public school to be a member of the FHSAA. 

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37 minutes ago, gatorman-uf said:

I agree, but on the last statement, doesn't state law require all public schools to be members of FHSAA? This is one of the reasons why the FHSAA is different than other states as it is a quasi-state sanctioned organization. Granted, a school could belong to the FHSAA and just be independent and play in another Association as well and compete for a title that way.

The way I read the statute, the state legislature recognizes the FHSAA as the governing authority on school activities but there is no requirement for a public school to join.  

What I suggest is do like the SSAC does, a league that is also within the FHSAA.

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1 hour ago, Hwy17 said:

The way I read the statute, the state legislature recognizes the FHSAA as the governing authority on school activities but there is no requirement for a public school to join.  

What I suggest is do like the SSAC does, a league that is also within the FHSAA.

"The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is designated as the governing nonprofit organization of athletics in Florida public schools."

While I agree there is not an explicit requirement to join, how do I read the first sentence and not believe that the FHSAA is supposed to be the organization that all public schools are supposed to be members of (if they choose sports). In other words, I don't see how in reading the first line that public schools could create their own FHSAA, they could go independent and do many of the things that are suggested in some form, but I don't think they could break off. Reality is this is why school boards, the FHSAA, and the state legislature (who should have no part in this) have lawyers and we have judges. 

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3 hours ago, gatorman-uf said:

 

"The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is designated as the governing nonprofit organization of athletics in Florida public schools."

While I agree there is not an explicit requirement to join, how do I read the first sentence and not believe that the FHSAA is supposed to be the organization that all public schools are supposed to be members of (if they choose sports). In other words, I don't see how in reading the first line that public schools could create their own FHSAA, they could go independent and do many of the things that are suggested in some form, but I don't think they could break off. Reality is this is why school boards, the FHSAA, and the state legislature (who should have no part in this) have lawyers and we have judges. 

First of all we must keep in mind that the FHSAA goes back to 1920 and was created by the schools, not the state legislature. The state legislature recognition of the FHSAA came much later. Secondly, the above mentioned notion of public schools forming independent conferences is no different than how private schools, who are also FHSAA members, formed and independent league(s) and conduct their own post season. How can the FHSAA afford such an accommodation to one group of its members and then deny such to another? Lastly, when, where, or how, did public schools give up their authority by joining FHSAA? Florida statute 163.02 allows for local governments, school boards included, to form inter-local agreements with other local governments or agencies to meet a specific need. I would argue that local school boards still have this authority. But again, I am not legal scholar.

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